What Are They?
Ticks are small arachnids that feed on the blood of other animals. Of the 500 species of ticks in the world, four of them make up 90% of the ticks you’re likely to encounter in Pennsylvania: the American dog tick; the blacklegged tick (deer tick); the lone star tick; and the ground hog tick. Ticks live outside in long grass, shrubs, and leaves; and unfortunately, they are attracted to humans and other animals. If you’ve spent any amount of time outdoors in your life, you’ve likely encountered a tick at some point.
What Do They Do?
If a tick crawls onto your body, it will likely migrate to a warm, moist place (look in armpits, groin, or hair) before biting into you. Once it’s started drawing in blood, which can happen for days at a time, the tick will swell with blood. At its largest, it can swell to the size of a marble; once this happens, the tick will typically fall off its host. If feeding on the blood of every animal family except for fish wasn’t scary enough, ticks are also a major source of diseases that affect humans. A new study confirms that Lyme-disease bearing ticks (deer ticks) have been found in all 67 counties of Pennsylvania.
How Can You Prevent Them?
It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to completely avoid ticks, but here is what we suggest:
- Wear long sleeves for traipsing through wooded areas.
- Use insect repellent.
- Do a full body check once you come back indoors.
- Everyone should shower within two hours of outdoor exposure.
- Don’t forget to check your children for ticks as well!
- If you DO find a tick, be sure to remove it immediately and carefully with a set of fine-tipped tweezers.
Good’s Tree and Lawn Care provides a service which can help with your Tick problems. Find out more here.