Deer ticks are also known as “black legged ticks,” and can be confused with other kinds of ticks, especially dog ticks. They live by attaching to and then feeding off of unsuspecting hosts; their favorite host is the white tailed deer, as their name suggests.
What They Look Like
Small, brown and flat, deer ticks have eight black legs. Because of their small size and unobtrusive color, they appear nearly invisible; they’re about the size of a sesame seed. They’ll turn rust-colored or brownish-red after they’ve fed.
How You Acquire Them
Contrary to what is sometimes popular belief, deer ticks don’t “jump onto” their hosts. Instead, they make their way to your clothing or your pets’ fur by simply “brushing onto” you or your pets as you pass.
Why They’re Dangerous
- They carry bacteria and viruses – which can be transmitted to you and your pets
Dear ticks can be dangerous because they are carriers of many bacteria and viruses, which they can pass them on to you once they bite you. Deer ticks are the primary carriers of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.
- You won’t feel the bite
The deer tick bite is painless when it occurs, so that you won’t feel it. You won’t know that you’ve been bitten until you begin to have symptoms of illness – which is why it’s imperative that you don’t get them on you at all. And remember, your pets are at risk, too.
Where Do Deer Ticks Commonly Live?
- In forests and in heavily wooded areas
Deer ticks are most commonly found on their preferred hosts, white tailed deer, and therefore frequent heavily wooded areas and forests. However, they also like other hosts just fine are not picky. They live “on top of” grass and leaves, meaning that it’s very easy for them to crawl right onto your clothing or skin, or your pet’s fur.
- On the edge of suburbia
Yes, that’s right. Even if you live in a suburban area, you’re still at risk for deer tick infestation and thus exposure to dangerous diseases like Lyme disease. As suburbia (and urbanization) advances into previously “wild” locations, they also advance on those areas where deer ticks live. Because of that, you’re not safe even if you don’t live in or near a forest or heavily wooded area.
How Can You Tell If You Have Deer Ticks?
Unfortunately, the only way to really tell whether or not you have ticks is to spot them or their effects (bites) – on you, or on your pets. Actually finding deer ticks can be difficult to do because they are so hard to spot. The unfortunate result may be that you won’t know you’ve actually got them until you begin to experience symptoms of illness – and by then, it’s too late; you’ve already been exposed. At that point, seek medical treatment.
What Can You Do About Deer Ticks?
While certain preventative measures (wearing long sleeves and pants, for example) are often touted as good protection against deer ticks, remember that these little pests like nothing more than transferring onto clothing to get to you. Therefore, even if you do wear long pants, you’re not necessarily going to prevent deer ticks from getting on you. What you really should do is to test for them first and then control them with specific professional services.
Testing and Then Control Is Best
The best way to protect yourself against deer tick infestation is to have a professional inspect your property for deer tick infestation. Once that’s done, your professional will install Damminix Tick Tubes® to both eradicate the current deer tick population and prevent re-infestation. After treatment, exposure to deer ticks and resultant Lyme disease dropped by 90%.
- No harm done to pets or other animals
This method of deer tick eradication and reinfestation prevention does not harm pets or other animals in the environment. The only creatures affected by the chemical used, permethrin, are the deer ticks themselves. Housed in biodegradable cardboard tubes, these treatments are safe for you, your family, the environment and your pets.
Take Control, Now
- With a Lymenator tick test
If you’ve found a tick a host already, make sure to preserve for testing. Call Peter Benz Landscaping and ask to schedule a Lymenator tick test. The test can tell within 10 minutes whether or not a tick is infected with the Lyme disease pathogen, so that you can seek treatment as early as possible if needed.
- By controlling deer tick infestation
Let a professional inspect your property for deer ticks and then install Damminix Tick Tubes® to both eradicate existing deer tick populations and prevent them from returning. Contact Peter Benz Landscaping today for a consultation.