Ticks aren't usually considered when discussing household pests in Florida, as they aren't found in your home (usually) and don't necessarily infest interior spaces. However, ticks DO impact people and pets alike, and can be a big problem, especially if they bite you and infect you with one of the many diseases they are known to carry. With many people enjoying summer hikes and camping excursions, we thought this was the perfect time to offer a brief Q&A about ticks, so you can feel prepared when you go out in nature and face the threat.
Where will I find ticks?
Fortunately, ticks aren't a huge worry when you're just taking your pup out for a walk in your subdivision or enjoying the local park with your kids, 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 hitch a ride?
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 hang out in grasses and plant life that grow at ground level more often than not, as they enjoy making 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 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 is on your scalp as they feel protected in your hair and can eat without being bothered.
How do I prevent ticks from turning me (or my pup) into dinner?
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. 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, heartworms, 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 sneaky parasites 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 or around your yard, give Country Boy a call. We offer residential and commercial treatments for interior spaces and outdoor environments, ensuring that your spaces are pest free and safe for you and the ones you care about most.