Protect Yourself from Ticks
Licensed Tick Control Service
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What are Ticks?
Ticks are related to spiders. They have eight legs, a flat, oval-shaped body and usually dark in color. Adult ticks are about the size of an apple seed. Tick numbers are on the rise, and if they attach to you they are hard to find. Ticks can’t fly, they don’t jump, and they won’t fall down on our heads from trees. If you find a tick on you it’s very likely it grabbed a hold of your shoe or pant leg and crawled all the way up you.
Where Do Ticks Live?
Ticks are usually found in elevated wooded and grassy areas. Tall grass is a favorite spot for ticks to find its prey. Ticks eat blood to survive, so they live where the animals they feed off of roam. You can find ticks anywhere you find deer, rabbits, lizards, birds, rabbits, squirrels, mice, and other rodents. Ticks detect a host using body odors, carbon dioxide, body heat, moisture, vibrations, and even by shadows. They like to make their home in places with lots of shrubs, weeds, tall grasses, and leaf litter. A single female, depending on the species, will lay a batch of eggs ranging from 1,000 to 18,000 eggs and then will die. The most serious problem with ticks is the diseases they can spread to humans, pets, and livestock.
Are ticks dangerous?
Ticks are common carriers of certain diseases such as Lyme Disease & Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Not all ticks carry disease. It used to be getting bit by a tick was more of a nuisance than anything else. Nowadays you have a much higher risk of getting sick from a tick bite. In the United States, both ticks and tick-borne diseases have been on the rise over the last 20 years. If a tick attaches itself, you have 26-48 hours before bacteria transmission.
Can ticks kill you?
Tick bites are generally harmless without any symptoms whatsoever. But ticks do carry disease, such as Lyme disease, and cause other allergic reactions. Other diseases can be dangerous, and sometimes deadly, to both humans and pets.
TICK REPELLENT FOR YOUR YARD
Kill ticks in your yard. Our spray is the best way to prevent Fleas, Ticks & Mosquitoes. Professional tick spray exterminates ticks from your yard. Even a single springtime application can reduce the population of ticks by 68–100%.
What to do if you find ticks on your property?
There are a number of things you could and should do if you find that you have an abundance of ticks on your property. Personal protection is your first line of defense against ticks. Use repellents. CDC recommends products with the active ingredients DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and/or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Pay special attention to your shoes, socks, and the bottom of pants legs where ticks would most likely attach. You can also treat your clothes with Permethrin. An insecticide that kills on contact. This is the same ingredient used in hair shampoos for head lice. It should only be applied to clothing and not directly to the skin. Allow the clothing to dry before wearing and be sure to only spray in an open, ventilated area. Follow all the label instructions carefully. Wearing light-colored clothing makes it easier to see ticks that have attached to you. If you’re in a well-known tick area, do frequent tick checks of people and animals. Don’t give them time to climb and bite you.
High-risk areas for ticks include the perimeter area around yards with dense vegetation, wooded lots, and the unmaintained areas between the yard and forested areas. There are several practices you can implement to reduce tick populations around a structure:
- Keep bushes trimmed and the grass cut low around the house to minimize tick habitats around the yard.
- Reduce vegetation in the lawn and keep areas open to sunlight.
- Rake or blow leaf litter and plant debris from areas that are highly traveled by people.
- Introduce hardscape (patios, decks, paths) into the landscape to reduce vegetation and areas that could harbor ticks.
- Restrict the use of ground cover only to areas where people do not frequent.
- Keep play areas (swing sets, playgrounds) away from woodland areas and in sunlit areas if possible.
Personal protection is your first line of defense against ticks.
Wear Light Colored Clothes
Where do ticks hide on humans?
Ticks are surprisingly fast and can move across your body quickly. You could find a tick nearly anywhere on your body. They prefer warm and moist areas. You will often find a tick in your armpits, groin, or scalp. While clothes do offer protection from ticks, they can still get under your clothes.
What happens if you get bitten by a tick?
When a tick finds a place it likes it will bite you. You don’t feel this bite because ticks secrete novel painkillers into their hosts through their saliva. This numbs the immediate area and allows the tick to burrow it’s head firmly in the host unnoticed. Once there it will continue to feed until it is removed or fully engorged. The amount of time a tick will stay attached to a host depends on what stage in the life cycle it is. The older a tick, the longer it can feed. Typically you’re looking at 3 to 10 days.
What happens if you don’t remove a tick?
If you don’t remove a tick it will continue to feed until it’s fully engorged and fall off on its own. The area where it falls off will often turn red and itchy like a mosquito bite. Oftentimes people won’t notice they’ve been bitten by a tick until they start feeling itchy. Ticks are common carriers of bacterial diseases that can make you sick. If a tick attaches itself, you have 26-48 hours before bacteria transmission.
What will make a tick back out?
There are a number of myths on how to get a tick to back out on its own. A match or lighter is a common one where the heat is supposed to compel the tick to back out of your skin. Coating the tick with vaseline or some kind of liquid dish soap is another common belief in removing ticks from your skin. The idea is to suffocate the tick forcing the tick to back out. Vaseline will not kill a tick. Unfortunately, these methods are more likely to cause the tick to burrow deeper into your skin, instead of coming out.
How to remove a tick?
The CDC recommends the best way to remove a tick is with pointed tweezers. Tweezers should be used for tick removal using slow, steady pressure, pulling straight up and as close to the skin as possible, so that the entire tick and mouthparts are likely to be removed.
How do you know if a tick is completely removed?
When you successfully remove a tick check and see if it’s still alive. If the tick is moving around and alive you can rest easy knowing you got the entire tick out. If the tick is dead it’s likely the head or some mouthparts are still inside your body.
What do you do if you pull a tick out and the head stays in?
If you fail to get the entire tick out of your body don’t fret. The head and mouth will not continue to burrow into your body. It’s very likely you will be completely fine. If there is a large portion of the head you should continue to remove it with sharp-pointed tweezers. If it’s just a small portion that you can’t get it’s likely your body will shed it in a few days. There is a strong chance you have some minor irritation in the area for a few days. You are also more likely to get infected if the tick is a carrier of a disease.
How to Remove a Tick
Personal protection is your first line of defense against ticks.
Grab The Tweezers
Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Avoid pinching your skin.
Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off.
If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
Dispose of a live tick by submerging it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape. Never crush a tick with your fingers.
Monitor the Area
If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, see your doctor. Bring the tick you saved for testing.
WHEN TO CALL A DOCTOR AFTER A TICK BITE
YOU DEVELOP A Fever
YOU DEVELOPE A Headache
YOU DEVELOP A RASH
UNABLE TO REMOVE THE TICK
When should I worry about a tick bite?
Most of the time you should not be worried about a tick bite, especially if you removed it within a 24-hour timeframe. But you should always be a little concerned about a tick bite. With the rise of tick-borne diseases over the last 20 years it’s very possible you may have been infected. Continue to monitor the tick bite site. If you notice the bite area getting worse over time instead of getting better you should be concerned.
Should I see a doctor if bitten by a tick?
Generally, you won’t have to go to the doctor for a tick bite. Common symptoms that you’ve been seriously infected by a tick bite are:
- a red-ringed rash or skin that’s red and irritated
- flu-like symptoms
- joint pain or a swollen joint
- facial paralysis (can’t move areas of the face)
If you experience any of these symptoms contact your doctor immediately.
Pets and Ticks
If your pet spends much time outdoors, tick checks should be part of your daily routine. Here’s how to spot a tick – and what to do if one has grabbed hold of your pet.
Scan for ticks by running your fingers slowly over your dog’s entire body. If you feel a bump or swollen area, check to see if a tick has burrowed there. Don’t limit your search to your dog’s torso: check between his toes, under his armpits, the insides of his ears, and around his face and chin. Ticks can be black, brown, or tan and they have eight legs. They can also be tiny: some species are only as large as the head of a pin. If you find a tick it needs to be removed.
Safeguard Pest Control service area covers West Michigan: Allendale 49401, Coopersville 49404, Fremont 49412 & 49413, Grand Haven 49417, Grand Rapids Areas, Holland 49423 & 49424, Hudsonville 49426, Spring Lake 49456, Marne 49435, Montague 49437, Muskegon 49442, New Era 49446, Norton Shores 49441, Rockford 49341 & 49351, Rothbury 49452, Twin Lake 49457, West Olive 49460, Whitehall 49461 & 49463, Zeeland 49464 and more.