American Dog Ticks
The American dog tick received its name because of its preference for feeding on the blood of domesticated dogs, although don’t let their name fool you, they will happily feed on the blood of many other mammals as well. Adult American dog ticks are brownish in color with white or yellow markings on them. Females have “marbled” markings only on the upper surface of front part of their bodies, while males have the same “marbled” markings going across the entire upper surface of their body. The American dog tick is often confused with the brown dog tick, but it is important to understand that they are two completely different species. The brown dog tick is reddish-brown in color and has the unique ability to complete its entire lifecycle inside.
Adult blacklegged ticks are a dark orange color and have distinctively darker, almost black colored legs. Adults are very small in size only growing to be 1/8th of an inch in length which can make this species of tick very difficult to spot. They will increase in size after consuming a blood meal. Blacklegged ticks are also commonly referred to as deer ticks because white-tailed deer are one of their preferred hosts. In addition to deer, these ticks feed on a wide variety of mammals including rodents, raccoons, foxes, humans, and birds. Blacklegged deer ticks are the species of tick that is responsible for spreading the very serious Lyme disease to both people and animals.
Lone Star Ticks
The lone star tick has a bright white spot that is located on their backs making this species fairly easy to identify. Males of this species also have very noticeable white lines around the top edge of their body; on the females, these markings are not quite as noticeable. Before feeding these ticks are reddish-brown in color, but after feeding they turn a more slate-gray color. Lone star ticks feed on a variety of mammals but seem to prefer to feed on larger mammals like foxes, dogs, white-tailed deer, and humans.
Are ticks dangerous?
Yes, ticks are considered to be dangerous; depending on the exact species they are responsible for carrying and transmitting a wide variety of diseases that can make people and animals very ill. The lone star tick is responsible for transmitting diseases like tularemia, Rock Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis. The American dog tick is a primary vector of Rocky Mountain spotted fever and is a known carrier of tularemia and can cause canine tick paralysis. And of course, the blacklegged tick is a well-known carrier of the very serious Lyme disease which is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.
How do you get rid of ticks?
Getting rid of ticks is something that should be handled by professionals, there is no way to ever completely eliminate ticks from a property, but through professional services, their numbers and your family’s exposure to them can be greatly reduced. At A-1 Pest Control, we offer highly effective tick control services in Lenoir and throughout our NC service area. Through our tick control service, an educated and experienced technician will apply products to areas on your property that are harboring ticks; preventing the ticks from being able to develop and therefore reducing their numbers. To learn more about implementing our tick control service, onto your North Carolina property, get in touch with us today at A-1 Pest Control.
How do you prevent ticks?
Preventing problems with ticks on your property can be difficult because these parasitic pests are continuously being introduced onto it by wild animals that are passing through. To help reduce you, your family's, and pet's contact with these dangerous pests we want to suggest the following prevention tips.
- To prevent your pets from becoming a host to ticks, use a veterinary-prescribed tick prevention product.
- Routinely check yourself and pets for ticks before coming inside, after spending time outside.
- Trim back wooded areas and areas of heavy vegetation back away from your property line.
- Keep your home’s lawn cut short.
- Remove bird feeders and other wild animal feeders from your property that could attract wild animals to your property.