There are several varieties of ticks in the United States and many can spread diseases to humans. These eight legged arachnids often hide along trails and hiking paths. They can be picked up in the woods or tall grass. The adult tick will hitch a ride on a passing warm-blooded body. Any human or other animal can be a host.
The female tick can lay up to 3,000 eggs. The hatch-outs will feed on the host animal. These vectors of disease burrow their head into the skin in order to extract a blood meal. Once attached, they can be hard to remove until they become engorged on blood and release themselves.
Once you return from a hike or walk, check yourself and your pets. Look at the ears, between the toes and in folds or creases of the skin for crawling or attached ticks. Check pet bedding and pet resting areas and use a vacuum to remove engorged ticks from your home.
To remove an imbedded tick, use tweezers to grasp it as close to the skin surface as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t jerk or twist the body of the tick, as this may cause the mouth parts to break off and remain in the skin. Once the tick is removed, thoroughly clean the bite site with soap and water. Then dispose of the tick by burning, crushing with a hammer or enclosing in a sealed container and putting in the trash.
Color – Brown to Black
Length – 1/8” to 3/16”
Diet – Ticks feed entirely on blood. Commonly referred to as Deer Ticks because they would attach themselves to Deer for their meal of blood. They will look for that same meal if they can attach themselves to a human host.
Habitat – They often live in grass or bushes until they can find something to attach to for their blood meal.
Impact – Areas where ticks have been spotted should be treated immediately since they can carry Lyme Disease. This disease if not caught early and treated, can create serious health problems for years.