Information On Ticks: 7 Things You Need To Know

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7 Things You Need to Know About Ticks

Most bugs are little more than pests. An ant bite might be painful, but it’s rarely serious. And while mosquitoes can carry certain diseases, it’s unusual to suffer from an infection due to a mosquito bite here in South Carolina.


When it comes to ticks, though, things are different. Some ticks are capable of carrying and spreading disease, for one thing. On top of that, ticks are known to attach themselves to you and suck your blood until they’re completely engorged. Gross! No wonder tick control is an important part of any home pest control program: after all, who wants ticks in their backyard?

While most of us know that some ticks can carry disease and that they’re capable of drawing blood, that’s where our knowledge of them stops. But if you want to stay safe when it comes to ticks, it’s important to understand a little bit more information on ticks. Check out our list of the top 7 things you need to know about ticks to learn more.


1. Ticks and Diseases

When we hear “tick bite,” one of the first things that comes to mind for many people is Lyme disease.

As it turns out, though, Lyme disease isn’t the only disease that ticks can spread. But at the same time, only a handful of the thousands of tick species out there are actually capable of spreading infections.

The blacklegged tick, more commonly known as the deer tick, is one of the more common ticks that’s also capable of spreading Lyme disease. Meanwhile, the Rocky Mountain wood tick, American dog tick, and brown dog tick (all of which are found throughout the United States) can infect humans with Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

However, the fact that you’ve been bitten by a disease-carrying tick doesn’t mean you’ll instantly suffer from an infection. Generally speaking, it takes anywhere from 36-48 hours before the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is transmitted from a tick to its host. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), your chances of contracting Lyme disease are fairly low if you remove a tick within the first 24 hours of being bitten.


2. Ticks Aren’t Insects

While we commonly refer to ticks as insects, this is actually a misnomer. As it turns out, ticks are arachnids. This makes them more closely related to spiders than to most household bugs.


3. Ticks Go On Quests

It’s true. Rather than jumping or flying onto a host, ticks will crawl up a long piece of grass or out to the end of a leaf, and then reach out with their front legs to grab a host as it passes by. Sometimes, they’ll fall from a branch onto a passing host, which requires some pretty impeccable timing. Scientists refer to this process of reaching and attaching to a host as “questing.”


4. Ticks Can Live for Years

Some ticks are shorter lived than others, but a few species are capable of living for years. Deer ticks will typically take two years to complete a life cycle, while the American dog tick can live for up to three years.


5. Ticks Need a Host

On the one hand, ticks can live for some time without feeding. In fact, the American dog tick is capable of surviving for up to 580 days without food! But in the end, every tick needs a host. Without a blood host, a tick can’t transition through and complete its growth and life cycle. Larvae will need to find a host, feed for anywhere from 5-10 days, and then drop off their host before turning into a nymph.


6. Tick Bite Symptoms

Tick bites are often painless, and it’s possible to be bitten by a tick and never even know it. In some cases, you’ll experience a small amount of redness around the bite, but nothing else.

Occasionally, though, tick bites lead to severe symptoms. These can include:

  • A bullseye-shaped rash (associated with Lyme disease)
  • Larger and/or full body rashes
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Muscle ache
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Allergic reactions are also possible. If you’re experiencing any unusual or severe symptoms after being bitten by a tick, seek medical attention right away.


7. Ticks Bite Pets and Humans

Many species of ticks will bite both humans and animals. Certain species (such as the American dog tick and brown dog tick) prefer dogs to humans, but many ticks are impartial. They’ll gladly bite whatever host comes their way.


Tick Control is Possible

While some of this information on ticks and tick facts are little grim, the good news is that it’s possible to achieve tick control in and around your home. If you’re suffering from a tick infestation, contact the professionals at Home Pest Control. Our knowledgeable experts can get rid of ticks in a hurry: call us today to get started.

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July 26, 2018

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