This is a common concern in a lot of places. After all, ticks are uncomfortable to deal with, and to parents of children, they can be quite frightening. At least one fear we can allay for you is whether ticks can fly. After all, no one likes it when bugs come flying out of nowhere and decide to feed off you.
Luckily for us, ticks cannot fly. Nor can they jump. The way ticks get around is through physical contact. Most often, they will engage in a behavior called ‘questing’. This is when they crawl up on a tall object (from their point of view at least), and latch onto the object with their third and fourth sets of legs, reaching out with their first set of legs to try and snare a host as they walk by. This is often why ticks can be found in tall, unmanaged grasses, or places with heavy underbrush. They can also often be found by the water, where warm-blooded animals often appear. It’s an easy way for ticks to relocate and find a host to feed off of. They like to wait in areas that are often well used. Some ticks like to immediately latch on when they get on a host, while others will wander, looking for places like an ear or places where the skin is thinner. And humans are not the ticks only feeding source. They also feed off of other animals, such as dogs, cats, cows, mice, horses, lions, and other warm-blooded animals.
Why worry about ticks?
One of the reasons why ticks are so feared and hated is because they often carry Lyme Disease. Lyme disease is rarely fatal but can come with some VERY uncomfortable side effects. 80% of patients have a red rash, that looks like an expanding bullseye and can cover large parts of the body. The uncomfortable rash is often accompanied by general tiredness, fevers, headaches, stiff neck, muscle aches, and joint pain. If Lyme disease is left untreated, it can cause arthritis, swelling and pain in large joints, and neurologic abnormalities (such as aseptic meningitis, facial palsy, motor and sensory nerve inflammation, and inflammation of the brain). Though rare, Lyme Disease can also cause cardiac problems, especially in those with previously existing heart conditions.
Recently, the CDC estimated that roughly 476,000 Americans were diagnosed with Lyme Disease a year. While this number doesn’t seem like a lot, it is rapidly increasing as time goes on.
What to do if you find ticks
So what do you do if you think you have a tick on you or you have found one? If you think you have a tick on you, the best places to look are in folds of skin, because the skin is thinner there and easier to penetrate. Such places include armpits, back of knees, neck, elbows, and where undergarments rub against your skin. Ticks will bury their heads in your skin and suck your blood. If you find a tick, you should remove it quickly, so prevent contracting a disease should it carry one. Find a set of tweezers and grab the tick as close to the skin as possible so you can grab its head. Then, pull out gently. Do not jerk violently or twist the tick. This will cause the head to detach from the body, leaving you with the head stuck inside you and no way to get it out. Once you have removed the tick, drop it into alcohol to kill it. Do not flush the tick or squish it. Flushing the tick will not kill it and squishing it means you have a better chance of contracting any disease it carries.
How to get rid of ticks
If you live in an area with a lot of undergrowth, or near water, or you have found ticks near your house or business, we suggest using our Pure Premium plan to get rid of them. Otherwise, you will be continued to be plagued by these annoying pests and be in constant danger from them. Do not try to exterminate the ticks on your own. This can be dangerous both to your health and to your land. Please call pest control professionals to exterminate pests.
With that said, if you plan to go camping or out for a walk in nature, be prepared. Wear long clothing, use bug spray, and don’t walk through long grass. Check yourself and your pets for ticks when you arrive home, just to be on the safe side.
We are happy to come and offer a consultation if you think ticks are living around your home. Our contact information is below, and we are always eager to help.