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Identifying, Preventing and Controlling Ticks In Texas

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Not actually an insect, ticks are arachnids related to spiders and mites. Normally flat, broad and brownish red or black in color, ticks grow larger and change color (to gray or blue) when they become engorged from feeding on blood. Yes that’s right ticks are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals and people. While these pests cannot jump or fly, they do have a tendency to lie in wait for a host in tall grass and other wooded areas especially along trails. The most common types of ticks in Texas include the lone star tick, the black legged tick (aka deer tick), the American dog tick, and the brown dog tick.

Deer ticks are a definite concern as an infected tick could spread Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever, among other diseases. Deer ticks often become a problem on properties where wildlife wander through as well as where there is tall grass and/or thick foliage. Because wild animals are also hosts, ticks may fall off as they cross over your lawn. Tall grass and dense foliage offer the perfect hiding spots for ticks. Oftentimes, ticks will attach as you or your pets walk by and may also hitch a ride on clothing and shoes to get inside.

A tick bite is usually painless (which allows them to feed on your blood unnoticed) but may produce symptoms ranging from swelling and redness to more serious problems. If you start experiencing flu-like symptoms, fever, numbness, weakness or have noticed a bulls eye like rash, you should contact your doctor. If you are able to confirm that it was a tick and still have the pest, you may want to bring it along on the visit.

If you are going to be spending time outdoors in areas that are known to have high populations of ticks, like wooded or high grass places there are some precautions that you can take to help prevent yourself and pets from being bitten by a tick. Tick prevention tips include:

  • Wearing protective clothing, making sure that your arms and legs are covered.

  • Wear shoes that completely cover your feet, make sure to wear a hat.

  • Use an insect repellent that works against ticks.

  • Pets should be treated with a tick control product from your veterinarian.

To help prevent ticks from becoming a large problem on your property and from being brought into your home you should:

  • Ensure that your grass is kept trimmed short to prevent ticks from being able to hide in it.

  • Do not place thick landscape vegetation close to your home.

  • Make sure that you rake up leaves, sticks and other debris that builds up in your yard near your home. Also keep woodpiles away from the outside of your home.

  • If you have wooded areas in or around your property keep those areas trimmed back.

  • Check yourself and pets for ticks before coming back into your home.

Treating your lawn for ticks is another great way to prevent a tick problem. While DIY tick control may seem like a great idea, they don’t typically accomplish the task of getting rid of ticks. Professional tick control is not only effective; it is often tailored to your property.

For more information on the types of ticks in Texas or for tick control in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio, contact Holder’s Pest Solutions. In business since 1947, the South Texas pest control company offers relief from ticks and other pests common to the Lone Star State.