tiny blacklegged tick on tennessee resident

How To Identify Blacklegged Ticks

Blacklegged ticks or “deer ticks” as they are commonly known, have a distinctive contrasting color pattern. Their bodies are brownish-orange or tan in color and they have 8 darker colored legs. Adults are very small in size only growing to be 1/8th of an inch in length. They increase in size after becoming engorged from feeding on a blood meal.

Why Do I Have A Blacklegged Tick Problem?

Blacklegged ticks cannot jump or fly. They wait in an area for a host to come by that they can climb on. Commonly waiting in areas where there is high grass, dense vegetation, in wooded areas, and along fence lines. Ticks feed on mammals (rodents, white-tailed deer, raccoons, foxes, humans) and birds. Wild animals generally introduce ticks onto a property. The ticks may then choose family pets to feed on, and the pets in turn will bring them into your house. Even if you don’t have pets ticks can be introduced into your home on your clothing or shoes.

Are Blacklegged Ticks Dangerous?

It is advisable to avoid ticks as they carry and transmit several illnesses including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, tularemia,  and ehrlichiosis.  It is important to note that deer ticks in southern regions are less likely to transmit Lyme disease than the ones in north. That's because they have different feeding habits in the regions.  We should also point out that deer ticks are not the only ticks prevalent in Tennessee.  There's also the American dog tick, the lone star tick and the brown dog tick, to name a few.  We should also point out that deer ticks are not the only type of tick known to spread illness.  

How Do I Control Ticks?

Controlling deer ticks can be difficult because it is often wild animals that introduce them onto your property. The best way to control them is with the help of a professional pest control expert.  Tick control is a seasonal service that is administered between April and September, or when ticks are most active in our region.  You might also consider our Power Platinum home pest control program.  This is a year-round service that protects against 30+ common household pests and termites  PLUS it controls ticks, mosquitoes and a few other pests when they are active. 

Blacklegged Tick Prevention Tips

The best way to control blacklegged ticks is to remove the environments around your home that may attract them. Some tips to help are:

  • Keep your lawn trimmed short

  • Cut back wooded areas on your property

  • Remove piles of leaves or other organic debris.

  • Use tick preventative for your dogs and cats under the guidance of your pet’s veterinarian.

  • When outdoors, especially in wooded areas, you should wear long sleeves, long pants, and closed toe shoes with socks.

  • Wear a tick repellent containing that contains DEET. Consult with your doctor for the best insect repellent for children.

 

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