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How to Prevent Getting Bit By Ticks in Birmingham

tick on fur

The word tick carries fear for everyone, from avid outdoor adventurers to couch potatoes. Although they seem scary, every Birmingham resident can be prepared for the tick season and be more informed about professional pest control in Birmingham.

What Is A Tick?

Ticks are parasitic arachnids (think, spiders!). Parasites sustain their existence by leaching nutrients from another living creature, a host. Ticks do not entirely inhabit their host, which makes them external parasites. Ticks primarily feed on the blood of mammals and birds. There are hundreds of species of tick worldwide. Ticks are found all over the globe and are especially active in warm environments. Thus, ticks are most active in seasonal climates during the spring and summer months. This peak in activity is often called "tick season." 

Adult ticks have two missions in life: to feed and to mate. Ranging in size from 3 to 5 millimeters in length, adults are oval-shaped and range in color from beige to black. When hungry, they appear flat. However, after a meal, they become engorged and pimple-like. 

Ticks have four stages within their lifecycles:

  1. After the female tick lays eggs (up to 5,000 at once!), the eggs hatch into six-legged larvae and immediately search for a host. 
  2. The larvae feed until engorged.
  3. The engorged tick molts into an eight-legged nymph from the larval stage. 
  4. After another blood meal, the larvae molt into adult form. 

Ticks require blood meals to move through each life stage, making them a dangerous pest for humans and many animals. 

The Potential Danger Of A Tick Bite

Tick bites can occur in animals, like dogs and deer. Ticks also frequently target humans. Once they pierce their victim's skin, they insert their mouth appendages into the incision and drink their fill of blood. Not only are they covered in bacteria, but they also transmit saliva into their hosts as they feed. If a tick is spotted feeding on you or a pet, remove it immediately. You must remove the whole tick as sometimes the mouth appendage remains below the skin and leaks bacteria into the host. 

Ticks carry many diseases and transmit many of these illnesses to people, such as Babesiosis, Colorado tick fever, Powassan virus, and the infamous Lyme disease.

Ticks infected with Babesia parasites can pass that parasitic infection on to their hosts. Babesiosis has an incubation period of one to nine weeks and causes fever, body aches, and in some cases, organ failure. Colorado tick fever is a virus spread from an infected animal when a tick carries the infected blood to another host. The incubation period ranges from one day to two weeks, including fever, fatigue, weakness, and rash. Powassan virus spreads via the bite of an infected tick. Powassan virus has an incubation period of one to four weeks and causes fever, headache, and seizures. It can also cause encephalitis or swelling of the brain, which can be fatal.

Five Natural Ways To Prevent Ticks While Out And About

Ticks come with much yucky baggage. Tick prevention is the best way to avoid ticks and the trouble they cause. Some preventative measures include:

  1. Cover your body before entering into tall vegetation
  2. Check yourself and your pets for ticks after outdoor recreation
  3. Mow your lawn frequently
  4. Maintain a barrier of wood or gravel between your home and wooded areas
  5. Wear light-colored clothing so that ticks are easily spotted

These five tips can give Birmingham residents a head start against ticks, but contacting a professional pest control service would be the most effective measure.

The Best Way To Keep Ticks Away From Your Property

Tick control treatments administered by a professional are the best way to keep ticks away from your property. Luckily, Pest control in Birmingham is easier than ever with EnviroCare. For quality pest control you can rely on, give EnviroCare a call today!