There are 850 known species of ticks, with 90 of them found in the United States. Ticks are arachnids that are more closely related to spiders than insects. All ticks feed on blood. They are especially common in fields or wooded areas and very common between the edges of forests and open areas. Maturing ticks center their lives around a series of hosts. Ticks typically feed on one host, then drop off to digest their meal of blood, shed and then look for their next host.
Three Host Tick Definition
The greatest health risk comes from those known as three-host ticks. This means that they will feed on three hosts in their lifetime. These three hosts are usually different. This behavior of jumping from one host to the next sets ticks up to be disease carriers. If a tick feeds on an animal that is diseased, it can then transmit the disease to the next host. Allowing ticks to feed for too long increases the chance of passing something on that can then lead to infection. Feeling sick after a tick bite requires proper treatment.
What Do Ticks Look Like?
An entomologist can properly identify ticks down to the species but knowing the basics will help you identify them. Ticks can be grayish-white, black, brown, reddish-brown or yellowish in color. Almost all tick larvae are about the size of a grain of sand. Nymphs are about the size of a poppy seed or sesame seed and unfed adults are the size of an apple seed. They do not have wings and are flat and oval in appearance. Nymphs and adults have eight legs, larvae only have six. Male ticks are generally smaller than female ticks and they can bite in all three life stages. Ticks can bite you anywhere, but prefer moist, warm places like the groin and armpit.
How to Remove Ticks
When you notice a tick feeding it will look like it doesn’t have a head because their face is composed of several parts that are used to suck blood into their system. Ticks take a long time to fully engorge themselves. It will all depend on the size and life stage of the tick. Finding ticks quickly is key to disease prevention because it takes a tick at least twelve hours of feeding time to transmit most diseases. They can be difficult to identify as they feed because they change shape. The best way to remove a tick is by using tweezers. Carefully grab the tick as close to its head as possible and slowly pull the tick backwards away from the flesh. Keep the tick for proper identification. Keeping the tick will help your doctor monitor and treat any diseases it might carry.
Tick Control in Canyon Lake, Spring Branch, Bulverde, Timberwood Park, Leon Valley, Alamo Heights, New Braunfels, Selma, Live Oak, Converse, Universal City, Cibolo, Seguin, New Berlin, St Hedwig, Adkins, La Vernia, Elmendorf, Losoya, Von Ormy, Macdona & San Antonio, Texas
Ticks carry disease and some of these diseases can be deadly. It’s important to take all precautions to avoid tick bites. Call A Five Star Termite & Pest Control to keep your family and pets safe this tick season.