Summer time is time for some outdoor activities. Who does not enjoy picnics with the whole family, hiking, fishing with dad or camping with some friends? But summer time is also tick season, a time for tick infestation, ticks that include the black-legged or known as deer tick, western black-legged, American dog tick also known as wood tick and the brown dog tick. They crave for food the most during this time.
As if the mere annoying presence of the said parasites is not enough, they carry with them something dreadful. It is so minuscule that can be transferred through their saliva as they feed on their victim; bacteria that can make you or your pets ill. This gives all the more reason to prevent an invasion, an incident that can start even with just a single tick carried into your dwelling.
What Starts a Tick Infestation?
As mentioned above, summer, being a warm weather is tick friendly. If you happen to live near bushy areas or somewhere thick with trees, ticks are expected. The chance of a tick attaching itself to you or your pet is during a venture outside. It only takes a single tick to make it inside your home to start an infestation once it reproduces. One tick is capable of laying thousands of eggs.
Ticks seek out warm and moist areas hence you may find one hiding in the armpits or the groin area. It attaches itself firmly by burrowing its head securely in the skin and because its bite is painless, you may not notice it being there. If you live in tick-prone areas, see that you always examine everyone particularly your pets after spending some time outside.
The most telltale sign of tick infestation is the start of sickness on any family member, symptoms of which include fever that may be accompanied by chills, body pains, headache and fatigue (flu-like) and a rash. Be mindful though that many illnesses show similar symptoms.
It may also help to educate yourself about ticks so that you can better appreciate the measures you must observe to avoid them.
- A female tick often lays eggs in the spring and would hatch to become larvae. They are tiny as a dot and may remain dormant for some time until ready to prey on a possible host for its blood. This normally takes place during spring when the baby ticks have developed to more mature ones ready to find food.
- A tick infestation normally starts with your pets that enjoy the outdoors come spring time. Ticks crawl up on bushes or tall grass and bide their time until your pet comes along.
- Often the means of entering the home is through pets. After becoming engorged on the blood of your dog, the tick may detach itself and seek the protection of cracks and crevices. These are the places that you should often check if you suspect a possible tick presence. A small number may be overlooked but you will know an infestation is happening once you see them crawling almost everywhere.
- These pests don’t thrive in sunlit areas. Which means you can keep them away and prevent tick infestation by letting a lot of sun into your yard. Don’t let woodpiles or leaf litter stay untouched for too long allowing dampness within which can become attractive to ticks.
How to Control an Infestation
Regular cleaning and vacuuming will help stop the spread of the little blood-suckers in your home. You may also opt to use spray or powder insecticides to maintain control over their possible reproduction.
If your area is common for tick presence, make sure to dress to repel them whenever going outdoors. Wear long sleeves and tuck the legs of your pants inside your socks when going out in wooded areas. Better still if you can use insect repellents that you can spray on fabrics. It is also a must that you check yourself and your pets prior to returning indoors to avoid tick infestation.