What are ticks?
Ticks are pests that primarily live outside. The tick’s only source of nutrition is the blood they consume from their warm-blooded hosts. Cats, dogs, rodents, wild animals, and people are some of the tick’s favorite hosts.
Ticks are arachnids and cannot fly or jump. They have oval bodies, and adults have eight legs. Like other arachnids, they lack wings and antennae.
Ticks use a specialized mouthpart to cut through the skin of their host. They insert a barbed feeding tube, and feed on the blood of their host for a period of three to ten days. Once they have had their fill, the tick will drop to the ground, digest their meal, and then begin the search for a new host.
Unfortunately, quite a few species of ticks in our area are often deposited onto our properties, usually carried in by wild animals. Some of the most common ticks that we deal with include:
- American dog ticks
- Blacklegged ticks
- Brown dog ticks
- Rocky Mountain spotted ticks
Are ticks dangerous?
The potential for disease transmission makes ticks dangerous pests to have living in our yards near our pets and family. They are efficient at spreading diseases because they feed for long periods. Examples of diseases spread by ticks are listed below:
- Lyme disease (blacklegged tick)
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
While not every tick carries a disease limiting contact with these disease-spreading pests is always best.
Why do I have a tick problem?
Ticks thrive in areas that provide shade, moisture, and access to their hosts. Rodents and other wild animals regularly transport ticks into our yards as they search for food or shelter. When ticks are in our yards, it is common for you or your pets to come into contact with them and bring them into your home.
Another way that ticks find their way inside our Northern California homes is on the backs of rodents or other small wild animals that have decided to move indoors to nest. If many ticks are present in your home, a rodent infestation could be the reason why!
Where are ticks commonly found?
Properties with or near wooded areas are very susceptible to problems with ticks as they provide them with the damp, dark habitat that enables them to thrive. Wooded areas also provide them with a lot of access to animal hosts.
However, any property can become infested with ticks after wild animals already infested with these blood-feeding pests move across it. Other outdoor spaces susceptible to tick infestations include yards, parks, campgrounds, athletic fields, and playgrounds.
Most ticks cannot complete their life cycle indoors; however, one species, the brown dog tick, can breed indoors. If ticks have become a problem in your home, the most likely culprit is the brown dog tick.
How do I get rid of ticks?
Ticks bite people and pets to feed on blood, and in the process, are responsible for transmitting serious illnesses. At first sight of ticks on your Northern California property, immediately reach out to us at Defender Termite & Pest Management. With our year-round pest control services and regular service visits, we can rid your Sacramento property of ticks and prevent pests from taking over your yard in the future.
Our safe pest control solutions and fast action ensure that our customer’s pest problems are solved once and for all! Call us today and learn more about our tick control solutions for home and business owners looking for dependable and effective pest control and exceptional customer service!
How can I prevent ticks in the future?
Prevent future problems with ticks using the following easy to accomplish prevention tips:
- Keep the grass cut short and cut back overgrown vegetation to provide ticks with fewer places to hide.
- Cut tall grass back from fenceline, deck steps, and other heavy traffic areas of your yard.
- Remove things like woodpiles, leaf piles, and brush piles from your property that provide damp areas where ticks hide.
- Remove bird feeders from your property that attract wild animals.
- Place tight-fitting lids on trash cans and compost bins to keep foraging rodents and wild animals away.
- Seal holes in your home’s exterior that could give wild animals access to your house.
- Regularly vacuum your floors and furniture to pick up stray ticks.