Tick Facts, Appearance, Diet
Ticks belong to the arachnid family and adult ticks have eight legs. There are soft and hard-bodied ticks. Ticks are blood-feeders that attach themselves to a host and suck blood. Ticks feed on mammals, birds and reptiles. There are approximately 80 species of ticks that occur in the United States. The brown dog tick and American dog tick are hard-bodied ticks that are significant pests to pets such as dogs and cats, and can establish themselves as nuisances in and around structures with dense vegetation and landscaping.
Hard ticks require a blood meal to progress to each stage of their development.
Developmental stages include: egg, larvae, nymph, adult.
Brown Dog Ticks
Brown dog ticks are reddish brown in color and prefer dogs as their host. Brown dog ticks are usually found wherever domestic dogs are present and in grassy areas with vegetation and bushes. The brown dog tick requires a blood meal before progressing to the next stage in its development or before dropping off to lay eggs. After a blood meal, the brown dog tick will typically drop off the host to either molt or lay eggs; however, in some instances the brown dog tick remains on the host throughout its entire life cycle. Female brown dog ticks can lay between 200-5,000 eggs. Eggs are typically deposited within interior cracks and crevices, carpet, behind baseboards and other areas frequented by pets.
American Dog Ticks
American dog ticks are hard ticks that are brownish in color with white-grayish markings; they are sometimes referred to as “wood ticks”. American ticks are only found in North America and prefer domestic dogs as their host of choice. American dog ticks require 3 different hosts to progress in their development. After a blood meal, the adult female drops from the host and lays between 4,000-6,500 eggs. The larvae and nymph ticks usually feed on small mammals as host, whereas the adult ticks prefer large mammals, such as dogs.
The American dog tick cannot survive indoors and was probably brought in by a dog.
Ticks require a blood meal from a host in order to progress to the next stage in their development. Ticks are capable of laying hundreds and thousands of eggs at a time. Based on the high number of eggs, it is easy to see how one female tick can introduce a tick infestation quickly.
Tick Health Threats and Concerns
Ticks can transmit pathogens including viruses, bacteria and diseases, including fevers, Lyme disease, tick paralysis and tularemia, among others. Tick pathogens are spread from infected adult ticks to their offspring. Tick bites can also cause allergic reactions in humans and pets.
Tick Control Service
AmeriGuard Pest Defense offers tick control services for residential and commercial locations where ticks are a bothersome. Our licensed service technician will perform a thorough visual inspection to identify the severity of your tick problem. During the inspection, all sources of the infestation will be identified and methods of tick treatment will be discussed. The technician will also point out potential tick harborages, tick evidence and suggest mechanical methods of tick control where available. A successful tick control service depends on the cooperation of our customers.
Ticks should be removed by using a pair of sterilized tweezers to grab the tick body and pull gently and steadily. It is important to remove the entire tick head and body and not leave any mouth parts in the host animal. Heat methods should be avoided to prevent additional irritation and infection.
Preparation for Tick Control Service
The Tick Control Preparation Checklist is available for download. This checklist must be followed carefully to ensure a successful tick control service and to ensure that your home will be rid of any tick problems.
Download the Tick Treatment Preparation Checklist to ensure you are prepared before service.
Tick Service Frequency
Tick treatment services are available on a One-Time basis or as part of an ongoing Monthly or Bi-Monthly General Pest Control service. A tick control service can be added to your regularly scheduled maintenance plan. If your property is re-infested with ticks frequently, our service technician will advise of the best course of action for controlling your tick problem.
Getting Rid of Ticks
What You Can Do?
- Wear long sleeved shirts and tuck pants into socks if spending time in wooded areas where ticks are known to inhabit. Wash clothes upon returning home.
- Inspect pets and pet bedding for ticks on a regular basis.
- Groom pets regularly and speak to your veterinarian regarding available tick prevention medications.
- Keep grass mowed to below 3” and reduce dense vegetation in shady areas.
- Eliminate any rodent problems from the yard, which can introduce a tick problem.
- Keep dogs on leashes when going for walks.
- Clean and inspect bed bedding frequently to stay on top of an outbreak.
- Contact your pest professional at the beginning of a tick infestation. Early intervention is important to getting rid of a tick problem quickly and efficiently.
Scheduling a Tick Treatment Service
Contact your tick service experts at AmeriGuard Pest Defense for a free tick control quote. Most quotes for residential tick services can be provided over the phone without any obligation. AmeriGuard Pest Defense’s Tick Maintenance Program will help eliminate current ticks as well as help prevent a future tick infestation. Catching a tick problem early will ensure that it is taken care of quickly and efficiently. Tick Maintenance can be added to any General Pest Control Maintenance Program for a minimal amount. No contracts required!