What are ticks?
Ticks are arachnids that feed on blood as their only source of nutrition. In order to complete their four-stage life cycle, ticks require blood meals from different warm-blooded hosts (people and animals).
Ticks are external parasites that feed on their host’s blood from outside of the body. They crawl up the host’s body, bury their head (feeding mouthparts) into the skin, and feed until engorged. After having their fill, they drop to the ground, complete their next stage of development, and then locate a new host to feed on.
Are ticks dangerous?
Ticks feed slowly over a period of days, making them effective transmitters of diseases that make people and animals ill. They feed on a variety of hosts, making it easy for them to spread the following diseases they carry through their saliva:
- Lyme disease
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
The diseases that ticks spread are serious, and symptoms need to be managed by a health professional. Avoiding contact with ticks is always important and can be assisted by doing the following:
- When walking in wooded areas, stay at the center of the trail.
- Wear light-colored clothing when spending time outside.
- Avoid walking through fields, meadows, or other areas of tall vegetation.
- Use an appropriate tick repellent when spending time outdoors.
Why do I have a tick problem?
Ticks feed on various animal hosts, including rodents, dogs, cats, and other wild animals. As these animals travel searching for food, water, and shelter, they take the ticks feeding on their bodies with them. When the ticks have had their fill, they will drop to the ground.
Ticks are constantly being introduced onto our St. Louis properties by animals, making them difficult to control without the assistance of a knowledgeable professional.
When ticks are living in your yard, you or your pets will inevitably come into contact with these biting, blood-feeding pests and accidentally introduce them into your home.
Where will I find ticks?
Ticks are not a pest that regularly becomes an issue inside of our homes. The majority of tick species are incapable of completing their life cycle indoors.
Ticks are, however, very problematic in our yards which provide them with plenty of places to hide, grow, and find new hosts.
Shady areas and damp soil are where ticks like to gather. Some of the most common places ticks gather include the following:
- The ground under shrubs and bushes
- The dirt underneath woodpiles
- Under piles of grass and leaves
- In tall grass and weeds
Wooded areas are especially prone to heavy populations of ticks. Ticks can pop up on any property, but those located near wooded areas are most prone to tick problems.
How do I get rid of ticks?
Recurring pest control services are the best way to keep ticks off your St. Louis property. At Roberts Pest Control, we are passionate about offering common-sense solutions and helping our customers maintain properties that are free of ticks and other pests, and meeting your family’s needs.
Our St. Louis pest professionals know how to get to the bottom of your tick infestation and provide the comprehensive treatments needed to offer a long-term solution. To learn more about our tick control solutions, give Roberts Pest Control a call today!
How can I prevent ticks in the future?
Take the time to make changes around your St. Louis yard to make it less attractive to ticks and to help prevent problems with these biting, disease-spreading pests.
Below is a list of our most helpful tick prevention tips:
- Remove piles of leaf litter, grass piles, and wood debris from your yard where ticks like to hide.
- Cut back shrubbery and other landscaping plants that provide a shady, damp area for ticks to hide.
- Keep your lawn cut short.
- Cut wooded or tall grassy areas back away from your property line.
- Cut weeds and grass back away from deck and porch steps and fence lines.
- Eliminate food sources from your property that rodents and other wild animals will take advantage of. Get rid of bird feeders, keep lids on trash cans, and pick up uneaten pet food.