Everytime we go in the woods or tall grass in the spring and summer months, we need to be weary of ticks. They are out in full force during those times of the year and harmful to animals and humans. This is because they spread illnesses that are severe. Being that they are parasites, they feed off an organism that is the host and unfortunately, they also harm that host. How long can a tick live without a host? 24 hours or up to 2 years. It depends on the life cycle stage, conditions, and species of the tick.
Stages of Ticks
There are four stages in the life cycle of a tick and each stage feeds on blood, except for the egg stage. Let’s take a look at eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adult ticks.
This is the first stage of the life and they do not need to have a blood meal to survive. In this stage, an adult female tick lays the eggs and the eggs can go for weeks without a host. They stay in this stage until they hatch and turn into larvae.
Larvae, Nymphs, and Adult Ticks
In these stages, the ticks need to bite a host to get the blood. Unfortunately, this means it is a human or wild animal. The host animal can be a mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian or other types of animals. In these stages, the American dog tick can live for up to two years without a host. This type is common in the United States and feeds on cattle, dogs, humans and other animals.
Types of Ticks
There are two common varieties of ticks in the United States – Black-legged ticks which are also called deer ticks and Western black-legged ticks that transmit Lyme disease. When a tick is a carrier of Lyme disease, it can bite a human and transmit the disease.
Black-Legged Ticks – don’t live long inside if they don’t have a host. When the air conditioning is on in the home, the dry air makes it difficult for the tick as it loves the high humidity.
Lone Star Ticks – survive in short grasses, like sidewalks and also decks searching for a host. They don’t live in the home more than a few days.
American Dog Ticks – don’t live for more than a few days inside the home.
Brown Dog Ticks – they are opposite and can live inside the home for their whole life cycle. Unfortunately, they are known to be in dog kennels and infest them. If dog owners have their dogs in kennels often, washing the bedding regularly so ticks don’t make it their home. If you are outdoors during tick season, you will want to wash your clothes so none of them cling to you. It is unfortunate that ticks can survive the washing machine, but good news is the hot dryer setting will kill them.
Diseases From Ticks
Lyme disease is serious and can be serious. It can take weeks or even months to get over. Some people have recurrences of Lyme disease for many years! Another disease that ticks can carry is Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This is also a serious illness and like Lyme disease, both cause nausea, fever, headaches and a rash where the tick bite occurred. If it is left untreated, it can be critical and dangerous to the health of the human or animal.
Check out this video about how to properly remove a tick if you find one on your body.
Now that you know about ticks, let’s take a look at a few other areas of pest control. One of those is when mosquitos go away in Georgia. Unfortunately, being in the south, we are susceptible to ticks and mosquitos for a good portion of the year. As mentioned above, ticks go away when it is cooler and the same goes for mosquitos. The months of November to March are the times they won’t be around as the weather cools.
Another area is knowing if you have ants in the walls. We try to keep our homes as clean as we can, but sometimes ants find a way to get in. Listening to the walls at night or knocking on the walls is a good idea. If the walls sound hollow, then you may have ants.
Lastly, silverfish are a nuisance and may sometimes get on your clothes when they are in the garage or the home. It is hard to avoid cardboard boxes and they attract them to your home. However, if they get on your clothes, silverfish and their eggs can be killed by washing and drying clothes at the highest setting. This is the same as ticks.
When to Contact a Professional
Finding ticks in the home around the edges of rugs, curtains, baseboards, or doors can be frustrating and something you need to take care of right away. Most people don’t know the difference between the types of ticks and which ones will survive or not survive in the home. Calling a professional is important to take care of them right away.
Ticks can be dangerous to you and your four-legged friends so if you see them in the home, having them taken care of right away is important. The last thing you or your furry friend want is a disease. Reach out to All South Pest Control will be able to determine your pest services needs and offer the best preventative maintenance for future pest issues in McDonough, GA, and the surrounding areas.