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Fort Worth's Handy Field Guide To Tick Bites

Serving Families Throughout Dallas, Fort Worth & Houston
deer tick on a leaf

Ticks are disgusting parasites that latch onto a human or animal host in order to drink their blood. While it’s easy to assume that ticks in Fort Worth, Texas are a type of insect, they are actually arachnids and are most closely related to spiders and scorpions.

Guide To Ticks

All ticks have eight legs and oval-shaped bodies. They don’t have wings, and their heads contain a sensory apparatus that allows them to identify potential hosts. While all ticks share these characteristics, there are many different species of ticks. In Fort Worth, the most common species are deer ticks (also known as the black-legged tick) and lone-star ticks.

You can identify deer ticks by their brown-orange color and dark-colored legs. This species gets its name because it generally chooses deer as hosts, but they will also latch onto other animals and even people.

The lone-star tick is a red-brown color but will look gray after eating. The females of the species have a single white spot on their backs while the males have multiple white spots and lines around the edge of their bodies. Lone-star ticks generally attach to people, dogs, and deer.

How Dangerous Are Ticks?

You’ve probably heard that ticks can be dangerous because they spread illness, but ticks are much more of a health risk than you might realize. The black-legged deer tick is a common vector for Lyme disease, and lone-star ticks can spread pathogens that lead to ehrlichiosis, tularemia, Heartland virus, and Bourbon virus.

Because ticks can spread so many dangerous and potentially deadly diseases, knowing how to identify ticks and what to do if you find one on your body is important.

What Should You Do If You’re Bitten?

If you notice a tick attached to your body, use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the surface of your skin as you can. Pull upward with even, firm pressure, and do not twist or jerk the tick as this can leave bits of the tick behind in your skin.

After the tick has been removed, clean the area and your hands with soap and water or rubbing alcohol. Be careful that you don’t squeeze the tick with your fingers or the tweezers. You can get rid of the tick by putting it in a sealed bag or submerging it in alcohol.

Should You Seek Medical Attention After A Tick Bite?

Most tick bites aren’t going to lead to a serious illness, but the risk is always there. It’s important to pay close attention to the bite site and any possible symptoms, especially within the first few weeks after you’ve removed the tick.

Some of the warning signs of tick-borne illnesses include a bulls-eye rash, fever, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, and joint pain. If you have any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately. It’s also vital to keep track of when you were bitten and where you likely picked up the tick as this information can help medical professionals diagnose the issue.

What’s The Best Way To Prevent Ticks?

The best way to protect yourself from tick-borne illnesses is to take preventive measures. When you’re in the wilderness, be sure to wear long pants and shirts and to stay on trails away from thick brush and shrubbery.

However, ticks also commonly make their way into Fort Worth yards, so it’s also necessary to take preventive steps to keep them off of your property. The most effective way to control tick populations around your home is by contacting the experts at All-Safe Pest & Termite.

Learn more about our residential pest control plans and get your free estimate by contacting us today.

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