ABOUT TICKS



Home and business owners in Warwick and in the surrounding areas of New Jersey and Pennsylvania often find themselves with a serious tick problem.  In such instances only professional pest control can eradicate. Ticks carry and transmit various harmful illnesses, making tick control in Warwick a necessity.

APPEARANCE



Several ticks are found in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. However, they do share a few characteristics. They are all arachnids, which means that they have eight legs. Their pear-shaped bodies are also shared among the various species. Their other shared characteristic is their need to feed on the blood of mammals, though some may also feed on amphibians and reptiles.

The blacklegged tick, also called the deer tick, is commonly found in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Females have a red-orange abdomen while males are uniformly black. Female lonestar ticks can be identified by the white spot on the center of their bodies while males are uniformly brown without the white spot. American dog ticks are also found in the region. Males of the species have distinctive white spots all over their bodies while the female exhibits white markings only on its dorsal shield.

Ticks are small. The largest ones may be about the size of an apple seed or slightly larger when they are engorged with blood. Smaller species, like the deer tick, only get about as big as a poppy seed.

DIET



Ticks are known as ectoparasites, which means that they fasten on to the exterior of a host. The host is most often a mammal, like a dog or a human. Accordingly, the tick's main source of sustenance is blood. Instinct guides the tick to search for thinner skin to facilitate easier feeding. That is why ticks are often found around the head or neck of the host, including inside the ear.

When a tick locates an appropriate spot for feeding, they cut into the host's skin before inserting a hypostome, which is rather like their mouth. Coagulation of blood is prevented by the secretion of anti-coagulant, which makes it possible for the tick to continue feeding for an extended period of time.

HABITATS



Ticks are found around the world, which means that they can thrive in virtually any climate. They tend to be found in the greatest abundance in fields, meadows and forested areas. This means that they could easily be present in residential backyards and all garden areas. Ticks are also perfectly at home with their hosts, which means that they may be found clinging to an animal or person.

When a tick does not have a host, it clings to plants, grasses and trees while waiting for a suitable host to happen by. The tick keeps its front legs extended so that it can easily latch on to an unsuspecting passerby. Then, it is merely a matter of finding the ideal portion of the host's body from which to feed.

PROBLEMS WITH TICKS



Tick bites are occasionally painful, but can also be extremely dangerous due to the many diseases that these arachnids are known to carry. Deer ticks are infamous because they are the sole known carriers and transmitters of Lyme disease. Other possible illnesses that are transmitted by ticks in the Warwick area include babesiosis, tularemia and ehrlichiosis. Some of these diseases can have tragic consequences if they are not diagnosed and treated properly. This is why it is vital for property owners to hire a professional exterminator when dealing with tick control.

BEHAVIOR



Instinct drives the tick to seek an appropriate host. It is why they continually seek a mammal to provide them with sustenance. Ticks tend to live in natural areas where they are most likely to encounter a host. Smaller ticks that are still in the nymph stage are typically found closer to the ground surface because they are seeking a smaller host while adult ticks generally place themselves higher up on grasses or plants with the goal of seeking a larger host.

Rather than jumping or dropping, ticks climb. They may gain access to a host by grabbing on to them at the level of the foot, ankle or lower leg. Then, they begin the climb toward a more advantageous position where the skin is thinner and eating will be easier.

HEALTH ISSUES



Lyme disease, which is carried by deer ticks, represents the greatest threat to humans. Scientists suggest that approximately 70 percent of Lyme disease transmissions occur in residential yards, so protection on the home front is critical. Early symptoms of the disease include fever, fatigue, headache and a distinctive rash that is shaped like bullseyes. When left untreated, Lyme disease begins to affect the joints, and eventually the heart and nervous system will also suffer.

Ticks may similarly transmit relatively less serious illnesses like tularemia and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever.

SIGNS OF A TICK INFESTATION



A tick infestation may be indicated by the following signs:

Tick attached to a person or pet
Someone develops a tick-borne illness

PREVENTION TIPS



Occupants of homes and businesses can protect themselves against ticks by taking the following precautions:

Perform regular inspections of the bodies of people and pets to detect the presence of ticks
Remove attached ticks with sharp tweezers
Wear clothing that contains insect repellant when outdoors
Keep vegetation around structures short and under control to discourage ticks
Remove brush and clean up wooded areas to make them less attractive to ticks and the rodents that may be hosting them

TICK CONTROL



Ticks represent a very real health threat to the people of Warwick and the surrounding area. While spraying insecticide may help, the only way that home and business owners can be certain that they are eradicating ticks from their property is with the assistance of an experienced pest control provider.



 
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