Ticks are not only arthropods, but also ectoparasites, which means they feed on animal hosts and depend on their blood to grow and survive. Sometimes the “animal hosts” are humans. Ticks are commonly found in wooded areas, grasslands, and even in urban environments. Now that summer is here, it’s that time of year when tick activity really “ticks up.” Here are some tips if you are taking those calls:
- Ticks are more resilient than we may give them credit for. From frigid winters to scorching summers, ticks can endure extreme temperatures and survive in various climates and habitats worldwide. Therefore, trying to predict summertime tick activity and pressure is difficult and often impractical.
- Only one tick species can transmit Lyme disease, the most common tick-borne disease (TBD) in the United States. It’s blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis), also known as deer ticks, that are associated with the transmission of the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.
- Only one tick species is capable of living, breeding and completing its life cycle indoors. Brown dog ticks (Rhipicephalus sanguineus), also known as kennel ticks, are often found in boarding facilities and homes with pets.
- What attracts rodents could bring ticks. When conducting management services, consider what may be attracting tick hosts to the property. Full bird feeders, for example, may be inviting to tick-carrying rodents.
- Reduce your risk of TBD. Use tick repellents, wear protective clothing, and shower after spending time outdoors, which can also reduce the risk of tick bites in general.