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Ticks: What You Need to Know

Need to get rid of ticks? Read on to learn the answers to all of your important questions. Need help? Call our professionals today to get started.

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What Are Ticks?

Ticks are parasitic mites in the arachnid family. This means that ticks are in the same family of invertebrate arthropods as spiders, scorpions, mites and horseshoe crabs. Arachnids are characterized by the fact that they have 8 legs, though some in a few species, some pairs of legs perform sensory, rather than ambulatory, functions. 

Ticks can be found around the world but are more prevalent where the climate is warm and humid because ticks need a certain amount of moisture to remain hydrated. Their only other requirement for survival is that the host species that is specific to each species of tick must have a high enough population density.

How Are Ticks Dangerous?

Ticks are some of the most efficient disease carriers because they attach completely when feeding, consume their blood meal slowly and can do so while going unnoticed for several days. Ticks are known to transmit several different infections caused by different bacteria, viruses and bacteria. One tick can even carry more than one kind of pathogen. These tick borne diseases can evolve into life-long debilitating illnesses and even be lethal. 

Not all ticks transmit disease and not all tick bites will lead to infection, especially if the tick is discovered and removed quickly. It often takes a little while for ticks to attach themselves and can’t really transmit disease organisms until they have been attached to your skin for 4 or more hours. If you are in an area known for having ticks, make sure to check yourself and other family members every 2 or 3 hours. If you have found a tick on attached to your skin or the skin of someone else, follow directions on how to remove ticks properly as the mouth of the tick is barbed and can stay embedded into the skin if not removed the right way. This can lead to infection at the site of the bite. If you have think you have been bitten by a tick, contact a physician right away.

How Can I Prevent Ticks?

The most effective way to protect yourself from tick borne illness is to avoid tick bites. Inform yourself of the known tick-infested areas near you. If you live in a wooded area or an area with tall grass, wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Cover your head with a head covering, wear boots and tuck your trousers into your socks to prevent ticks from crawling under your clothes. Wearing light colored clothing will help you more easily identify any ticks that have clung to your clothes. Use bug spray that contains at least 10 percent DEET and spray on your clothes rather than your skin as DEET can be harmful. 

If you think you have been bitten by a tick, or develop an unexplained illness with fever, contact a physician and mention that you have been outdoors near ticks or traveled to an area where tick borne illnesses are common.


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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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