Ticks & Lyme Disease in San Antonio, TX; Tick Activity, Inspection, Control & Prevention Tips
Ticks are parasites that feed on the blood of humans and animals in order to survive. They can become very dangerous when they feed on an animal such as a deer that is infected with Lyme disease and then carry and transmit it to the next animal or person they bite. Ticks become more troublesome because they can also carry bacterial co-infections like Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, and Anaplasmosis. While Lyme disease is the most common tick-associated infection, these co-infections can make the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease more difficult.
Ticks are active throughout the year. Their peak season of activity starts in April and runs through September. These are the months when hungry nymphal ticks actively seek a host. These nymphs are about the size of a poppy seed and their bite poses the greatest risk. They are responsible for most of the Lyme disease infections in people and their small size and painless bite make them hard to detect. Adult ticks are about the size of a sesame seed. They can also be hard to detect due to their small size and flat shape. For the most part, adult ticks feed and mate on deer but they can also be found on dogs, horses and domesticated animals. Ticks that carry Lyme disease can be found in areas that are moist and shady. These areas include:
• Leaf litter
• Piles of wood
• Tall grass, bushy areas and beach grass
• Lawn perimeters where they meet forest, woodlot or garden edges
Tick Prevention for People & Pets
The best way to prevent getting bit by a tick is to eliminate encounters with them. This can be hard to do but there are steps you can take to reduce contact significantly.
1. Wear protective clothing. When you are in tick infested areas you should a long-sleeved shirt and pants that you can tuck into your socks to create a barrier to your skin. Wear light-colored clothing to help you see ticks more easily.
2. Stay on the trail. Ticks are less likely to hang out in sunny, open spaces with minimal leaf litter so say on a well-managed path when you are hiking, biking or jogging outside.
3. Perform regular self-checks for ticks. Ticks can hitch a ride very quickly. Even a little contact with vegetation is all it takes. Get into the habit of self-checks. Grab your glasses or use a magnifying glass to look for ticks that can be smaller than a pinhead.
4. Check your pets for ticks. Don’t forget about your four-legged friends. They can also become infected with harmful diseases. Treat your pets to reduce ticks and fleas and give them a quick check after they have spent time outside.
5. Keep your yard neat. It’s important to keep your lawn trimmed because ticks love to hang out in tall grass. Ticks also love piles of wood that provide them with moist shade. Keep wood stacked in the sun to keep it nice and dry.