The highest threat level for ticks is during the warmest summer months. Ticks can attach themselves to your skin, often going unnoticed because of their small size.
What Is a tick?
Ticks are a parasitic pest that feed on the blood of animals as well as bite humans. Some of the common biological characteristics for ticks include:
- A flat, oval and broad body shape
- 1/8 inch to 1/2 inch in length
- dark, reddish-brown in color
The lifespan of a tick depends on the species. For example, the American Dog tick can take anywhere from three months to three years to complete a life cycle. The survival of ticks is dependent on the environment and the availability of hosts.
Are They Dangerous?
Ticks can carry diseases such as Lyme disease which can cause a rash, flu-like symptoms, and fatigue if bitten by a tick carrying it. When left untreated, the disease can be fatal. The majority of tick bites are harmless but there is also the possibility of allergic reactions from tick bites.
Where Are They Commonly Found?
Ticks are found throughout the United States but especially like warm temperatures, humidity, and moisture. Popular habitats for ticks include long grass, wooded areas, and overgrown areas. They also live on animals and can be found on deer, squirrels, mice, and other rodents. Once ticks cling to a host, they can stay there for long periods of time. It’s also common for ticks to grab on to clothing, shoes, blankets and other items.
One of the best prevention tips for ticks is to keep lawns mowed and trim bushes or shrubs. Keeping your yard free of debris like logs or piles of leaves will also cut down on places for ticks to live. Since rodents and other wild animals can carry ticks, its also a good idea to secure garbage cans so animals can’t get into them.