Ticks aren't often considered when discussing household pests as they aren't found in home environments (usually) and don't necessarily infest interior spaces. However, ticks DO impact people and pets alike, and can be a big problem, specifically if they bite you and infect you with one of the many diseases they are known to carry. With temps starting to cool and the weather encouraging more outdoor adventure here in Florida, we thought this was the perfect time to offer a brief Q&A about ticks, so you can face the season prepared.
Where do I need to worry about ticks?
Fortunately, ticks aren't a huge worry when you're taking your pup out to potty in your neighborhood subdivision, but that doesn't mean you should count them out completely. Having your lawn treated for pests means you add an extra barrier of protection for you and your family (including your furry members). When leaving home, places to be on the lookout for ticks include fields, wooded areas, or any other outdoor environment that has tall grasses and dense plant life as this is where ticks like to hide out most.
How do ticks get on me (or my pet)?
Contrary to popular belief, ticks aren't sitting up in trees just waiting to jump down on top of you when you aren't looking (wouldn't THAT be terrifying). Ticks actually inhabit grasses and plant life that grow at ground level more often than not, as they enjoy hitching a ride and enjoying a free meal off of host animals like deer. Unfortunately, your dog, or even you, can be a perfectly suitable stand-in as a host, and if you are walking through an area where ticks are present, they can grab on and then quickly move to an area of exposed skin to latch on and begin feeding.
Where do ticks like to hide out while feeding?
Once a tick is attached to a host, it is content to just sit and feed until it gets full and falls off. When checking for ticks on your dog or cat, look inside or under ears, in armpit areas or areas of folded skin, and around the tail. On humans, the same general rules apply, but a common area they actually hide out is on your scalp as they feel protected in your hair and can eat without being bothered.
How do I protect myself and my pets against ticks?
To protect yourself, clothing is key. Limit exposed skin as much as possible, by opting for lightweight long sleeved shirts, long pants, and a hat that covers your head and preferably the back of your neck. Wear socks and heavy duty shoes, and if you'll be hiking in an area with lots of plant life, consider tucking your pants legs into your socks to prevent any critters from crawling up to the exposed skin of your legs. Additionally, wear heavy duty insect repellant when you'll be outdoors. For your pet, the best prevention is with a monthly treatment available through your veterinarian. Often these are combo treatments, meaning you can protect your pet from fleas, ticks, heart worms, and other dangerous pests with one simple pill or chew.
Thankfully, ticks aren't something we fight off very often in people's homes, but it's important to know how to protect yourself and your pets from these little devils when out and about. After all, if they hitch a ride on you and you bring them home, they can be a risk to other members of your family. Why take a chance? If you're worried about pests in your home, give Country Boy a call. We offer residential and commercial treatments for interior spaces and outdoor environments, ensuring that your space is pest free and safe for you and the ones you care about most.