Ticks are common pests in Auburn. They can get on dogs and cats, but some species aren't opposed to getting onto humans as well. When ticks come into your yard, they can bite you while you're out in your yard, or they can hitch a ride into your home to bite you. So, what do you do when this happens? Here are a few important facts and tips every Auburn resident should know about tick bites.
Where Ticks Tend To Bite
When a tick attaches, it wants to find a spot where it won't be disturbed. Ticks prefer to stay attached for days. It can take ten minutes to two hours for a tick to find the right spot, depending on the species and life stage of the tick. On dogs and cats, they tend to attach in the ears or between the toes. On humans, they attempt to crawl all the way up the body to attach behind the ears or somewhere in the hair. Young ticks, called seed ticks, may attach to the skin on your legs. Lone Star seed ticks can do this by the dozens or even hundreds if you kneel in the wrong place while tending to your landscaping.
If you find a tick on your skin, it is important that you properly remove it. While attached, a tick is transmitting microorganisms from its body into the wound. If you squeeze it wrong, you can hasten this process and increase your chances of becoming sick. We recommend using a tick-removal tool for this job. If you don't have one, the next best option is needle-nosed tweezers. Grip the tick as close to your skin as possible. Pull out and pull upward.
Treating A Tick Wound
Once you've removed a tick from your body, it is essential to treat the wound. Although a tick wound isn't much to look at, there is a lot going on that you can't see.
Wash the area with soapy water and apply rubbing alcohol to kill any tiny organisms near the surface.
Apply rubbing alcohol to your hands and wash them with soapy water when you're done treating the wound(s).
Place the tick in a sealed plastic bag so that you can present it to your physician or to a pest control professional if necessary.
Lone Star Ticks
In Auburn, Alabama, Lone Star ticks are considered to be the most abundant tick species. This tick species is not known to spread Lyme disease, though you might think so due to the fact that it can cause a rash. If you're bitten by a Lone Star tick and you get a rash, it is likely that you have contracted southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI). It is quite common. The early symptoms of this disease are also similar to Lyme disease. You may experience a headache, fever, fatigue, and muscle pains. Fortunately, there is no link to chronic illness. You should recover from STARI on your own.
When your child comes into the house with tiny ticks all over, this can be a frightening sight. Lone Star seed ticks readily attach to humans and can do so in large numbers, as we pointed out earlier. The good news is that seed ticks may not have attached to a wild animal yet. If your child is the first mammal these tiny, six-legged ticks have bitten, then there is no risk of disease transmission.
Identification of Lone Star ticks: You can recognize an adult Lone star tick by the tiny dot on its back.
These are the ticks that are associated with Lyme disease. They're also linked to several other diseases, including ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and Powassan virus.
Identification of deer ticks (blacklegged ticks): The top half of an adult deer tick's back is a black oval, and the bottom is brown.
American Dog Ticks
As the name implies, these ticks prefer to feed on dogs. They can, however, attach to humans if they have no other options. If you find an American dog tick on your body, you should be aware that tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are the most common illnesses associated with this species.
Identification of American dog ticks: This tick will be brown with some mottled yellow coloration in an oval at the top of the back.
Long before you get bitten by a tick in your yard, consider investing in a residential pest control plan that includes coverage for harmful pests like ticks, fleas, mosquitoes and fire ants. We would love the opportunity to guide you in selecting the right plan for you. Reach out to Prewett Pest Control today and request a free inspection to get started. We're here to help.