How To Keep Ticks Away From Your Houston Property
With almost 2.2 million residents, Houston is a mix of world-class arts, booming businesses, pro-sports teams, and award-winning cuisine. Year-round temperatures are mild, luring people to spend a lot of time outdoors. With an abundance of outdoor activities comes the heightened risk for tick bites. These blood-feeding parasites are watching and waiting for an opportunity to enter your home.
Ticks And The Diseases They Spread
Ticks spend most of their time outdoors and are parasitic pests that feed on the blood of animals and people. While ticks spend most of their time on animal hosts, they are more than willing to transfer to a person. Houston is home to several varieties of ticks, and each species can transmit diseases to unsuspecting victims.
Tick species common in the Houston area are as follows:
Brown Dog Tick: Brown dog ticks range from reddish-brown when unfed to gray-blue when engorged. Adults have eight legs and no antennae; their bodies are flat and oval-shaped. Males have tiny pits on their backs. They are about 1/8 inch when unfed to ½ inch when engorged. These ticks are vectors (transmitters) of Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Boutonneuse fever. They can also transmit several tick-borne diseases to dogs, including canine ehrlichiosis and canine Babesia.
Lone Star Tick: Lone star ticks have a reddish-brown oval body when unfed that becomes slate gray when engorged. Adults have eight legs, no antennae, and an oval-shaped body. Females sport a single white to silvery spot on their backs, while males have several white, inverted horseshoe-shaped spots. They range in size from 1/6 to ½ inches depending on how recently they've eaten. These ticks are vectors of several diseases such as tularemia, Heartland virus, Bourbon virus, and Southern tick-associated rash illness.
Black-Legged Deer Tick: Black-legged deer ticks tend to be an orange-brown color. Adults have eight black legs, no antennae, and their bodies are broad with an oval shape. Males grow to be 1/16 of an inch and females to 1/8 of an inch. These ticks are primary vectors for anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and Lyme disease.
American Dog Tick: The American dog tick is brown with white to gray markings. Adults have eight legs, no antennae, and an oval and flattened body. They can be as small as 3/16 inches and expand to 5/8 inches when engorged. These ticks are primary vectors of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. They are also known to transmit tularemia and tick paralysis.
Regardless of the species, ticks in Houston carry some heavy risks.
The Secret Of How Ticks Get Around In Houston
Ticks enjoy hanging out in shady areas with abundant vegetation along trails, paths, and yards. Tall grasses in yards, shrubs, and yard litter are also prime hiding areas for ticks. Using their legs to latch onto unsuspecting victims that brush past them, they quickly catch a ride onto you or your pet.
Five Ways To Prevent Ticks From Accessing Your Houston Property
Ticks are not fond of open sunny areas; therefore, neatly trimmed properties are not attractive areas for them to camp out. Property owners can institute some preventative measures to keep ticks at bay.
Five of the best tick prevention tips are as follows:
- Trim the grass around sheds, shrubs, fence lines, and swing sets.
- Trim back vegetation along trails, paths, and yard edges.
- Remove woodpiles, weeds, and other yard debris.
- Install fences to keep tick-carrying animals from bringing ticks onto your property.
- Protect pets with veterinarian-approved tick treatments.
Given the seriousness of the risks associated with tick bites, these steps are a smart investment.
Houston’s Best Way To Control Ticks
The best way to control tick populations on your property is with professional assistance from White Knight Pest Control. Our company offers a variety of general pest control plans designed to suit your needs and budget. White Knight Pest Control is happy to answer your questions and provide a free estimate of services that combat these blood-feeding pests.