Although ticks are commonly thought of as insects, they are actually arachnids like scorpions, spiders and mites. Ticks have been a bigger problem this summer than most, due to the large amounts of rain the Chicago area has seen. This means there is a heightened threat of the transmission of common diseases like Lyme disease. During the summer months, it’s best to take precautions against ticks whenever outdoors, especially in areas known for tick populations.
From Aerex Pest Control, here are some common tick prevention tips.
- Wear long pants, long sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes. This is especially important in tall grass or wooded areas.
- Wear light clothing whenever possible. This makes it easier to spot ticks.
- Wear a hat! Ticks are commonly found in head hair.
- When hiking along a trail or riding down a bike path, try to stay in the center and way from vegetation.
- Make it a routine to inspect your pets for ticks. The easiest way to bring ticks into the home is from pets. Just like humans, our pets can also contract Lyme Disease.
- Inspect your property. Keep things like kiddie pools, play areas and outdoor furniture away from trees, bushes, shrubs and tall grass.
- Check yourself (and your family) daily. The best way to prevent Lyme Disease is early detection. Conduct a thorough full body check after spending time outdoors. Blacklegged deer tick nymphs are typically around the size and color of a poppy seed, and if found should be removed right away using fine-tipped tweezers.
Types of Ticks:
AMERICAN DOG TICK
One of the most frequently encountered ticks is the American dog tick, also sometimes known as the wood tick. While nymphs will feed on smaller animals like mice and birds, and adult American Dog Tick feeds on humans and bigger animals like raccoons and dogs. In Illinois, the adults are most active in April, May and June.
BLACK LEGGED TICK (DEER TICK)
The black legged deer tick will feed on a variety of hosts including humans. Take special notice when in wooded areas. These ticks are found in wooded areas along trails. While the larvae and nymphs are active in the spring and early summer, adults may be active in both the spring and fall.
BROWN DOG TICK
The brown dog tick is found through most of the United States. Like its name states, the Brown Dog Tick feeds mainly on dogs and rarely people. Luckily, this tick is tropical in origin and does not survive Illinois winters outdoors. On the contrary, its life cycle allows it to survive and develop indoors.
LONE STAR TICK
While most common in states along the east and gulf coasts the Lone Star tick can be found in the Midwest as well. The lone star tick is most active from April through the end of July. Beware – these ticks are very small. When on a human it will only be the size of a pinhead.
Ticks are a concern for the entire Chicagoland area. Whether you notice a tick on your pet, around your home or on YOU, call Aerex. Our pest technicians understand the habits of each tick species and use that knowledge when developing a pest control program that is best suited to your home and your particular tick problem.