Ticks can be found everywhere in the summer months. Whether you’re going for a long hike outdoors or simply enjoying your own backyard, ticks can cling to exposed areas of your skin as well as hide in areas that are generally covered, such as your ankles. Aside from being parasitic nuisances, ticks transmit a variety of harmful diseases to you and your pets, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. In order to learn how to get rid of ticks properly and find the right tick control for you, it’s important to first learn how to identify ticks.
Ticks aren’t just found when wandering around on a hike. They can be found in your own backyard! Here are a few of the most common ticks that are found in yards around Virginia.
Deer Ticks, or Blacklegged Ticks
Deer ticks (also referred to as blacklegged ticks) are among the most active types of ticks year-round in the state of Virginia, and they’re also the most common. With their small, hard-shelled bodies, these deer ticks can easily latch onto you and can go virtually unnoticed if you don’t look close enough.
Deer ticks are dark brown bodied with a lighter brown color on their bottoms, and they have curved legs. As adults, deer ticks can grow up to ¼ of an inch and can transmit the following diseases:
- Lyme disease
- Borrelia miyamotoi Disease
- Powassan Virus
Lone Star Ticks
Unlike, Deer ticks, Lone Star ticks are light brown all over their bodies. Lone Star ticks grow to be relatively the same size as Deer ticks, but their backs feature a discolored, distinctive mark that differentiates them from other ticks: the shape of a small star. Past the larva stage of development, Lone Star ticks’ legs extend and grow straight outward.
These ticks can transmit a plethora of diseases such as the following:
- Acquired Red Meat Allergy
- Heartland virus
- Rickettsia parkeri disease
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
- Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness (STARI)
Gulf Coast Ticks
Gulf Coast ticks may appear harmless with their pecan-looking bodies--yes, their bodies really do have the color, texture, and shape of pecans--but they can also be harmful to you and your pets.
Their legs extend outward like the legs of Lone Star ticks, and their legs are light caramel in color. While Gulf Coast ticks are commonly found in coastal parts of Virginia, such as Virginia Beach, these ticks can be found in other parts of the state. They transmit Rickettsia parkeri disease, which can cause headaches, rashes, and high fevers.
American Dog Ticks
American Dog ticks are a little larger than ticks commonly found in Virginia. With their teardrop-shaped bodies and their unique dark and light brown spotted hard backs, American Dog ticks appear almost like miniature turtles. Their legs are thicker in diameter and extend outward like most ticks found in Virginia. These ticks can spread Tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever to you and your pets.
While ticks may be small and hard to identify at times, you can detect ticks on your body by searching for inflammation and red spots that look similar to mosquito bites. Often, these bites are characterized by a red circle around a brown dot, which is the head or body of a tick. When checking your dog or other pet for ticks, look for large inflamed bumps or round lumps. These lumps will grow darker brown as the tick continues to feed on your pet.
If you have discovered a tick on you or your pet’s body, you want to quickly and carefully remove it, but you also want to safely do so. Using tweezers to remove a tick is best, but you have to ensure that you pull upward, so the tick is fully removed from the skin. If any part is left behind, the tick can continue to feed off you or your pet’s body. According to the CDC, after removing the tick, you should place it in a solution of rubbing alcohol or flush it down the toilet. For further protection, have a tick exterminator come and inspect your home for comprehensive tick control throughout the seasons.
If you continue to find ticks on you or your pet, call Agronomic Lawn Management for recurring tick control. A highly trained tick exterminator will thoroughly inspect and treat your home for ticks, so you can worry less about tick-borne diseases and more about the things in life that really matter. The best way to reduce the tick population on your property is to sign up for comprehensive lawn pest control. With tick control and lawn pest control, we are guaranteed to help you get rid of ticks in your yard and prevent future infestations!