There are a number of tick species. They can be identified by their distinctive eight-legged build and general flat, disk-like body. Ticks are parasites that feed on the blood of mammals, including household pets, livestock, deer, and humans. As parasites, these pests prefer habitats that are conducive to finding a host, such as wooded, grassy, and residential areas.
While there are many species of tick, the most problematic are American dog ticks, deer or blacklegged ticks, and lone star ticks. These species are common in North America and carry many health risks. The most notorious disease caused by tick bites is Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease attacks the cardiovascular and nervous systems, causing fatigue, fever and headache, rash, and joint pain. The Lone Star tick does not transmit Lyme Disease but can cause a severe allergy to meat with its bite. With any tick bite, there are health risks. If you believe a tick has bitten you, it is important to allow a medical professional to evaluate you.
The safest way to handle a tick bite is to prevent it from happening. Prevention includes keeping grass cut short, installing barriers around patios and decks, prescription treatment for pets, avoiding heavily wooded areas or those with tall grass, and closely inspecting clothing after being outdoors. If a tick is found attached to a pet or person, removal must be done carefully using tweezers behind its head and thoroughly cleaning the wound. If an infestation is suspected on your property, allow a pest control professional to inspect the area and develop an intelligent strategy to control the problem.