Ticks are a problem no one wants to have. Between their itchy, annoying bites and the potential dangers those bites pose, ticks can be a major headache to people they affect. Unfortunately, the climate in Dallas allows them to thrive for most of the year so long as they can find a food source - namely you, your family, or your pets.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at the major tick species present around Dallas, the threat they pose, and steps you can take to defend yourself.
Dallas Tick Species
Ticks are small, eight-legged parasites that have become notorious pests due to the many dangers they pose to humans and animals they come into contact with. In Texas, the primary tick pressures residents face come from two tick species: deer ticks and Lone Star ticks.
Deer ticks have brownish-orange coloration on their bodies with darker-colored legs (giving them their nickname “blacklegged ticks”), and resemble a sesame seed in size and shape. Deer ticks are named for their primary host in the wild, deer, but don’t be fooled: they’re more than happy to feed on any pets or people they come across.
Deriving their name from the “Lone Star State” of Texas, Lone Star ticks are reddish-brown in color, though they turn a slate gray color after feeding. Female Lone Star ticks have a distinctive white spot on their backs, their own “lone star” that helps differentiate them from other types of ticks. Males have multiple smaller white spots instead, as well as white lines around the top edge of their bodies.
Both tick species are dangerous and capable of spreading harmful diseases and other health concerns. Deer ticks in particular are responsible for transmitting Lyme disease, which can be especially harmful for any dogs or cats in your home. Lone Star ticks are likewise responsible for spreading tularemia and ehrlichiosis, among others.
Preventing Tick Bites In Dallas
With the threat ticks pose, preventing them from getting into your home and onto you, your family, and your pets should be a priority. Luckily, there are some effective strategies you can use to protect yourself and your loved ones from ticks, both by keeping them off your skin while outdoors and by preventing them from getting into your yard in the first place.
If you’re going to be spending time outdoors, try some of these tips to keep ticks off your person:
Apply a chemical repellent with DEET, permethrin, or picaridin to your skin and clothing before heading outside
Wear light-colored clothing, which is less attractive to ticks (and other parasitic insects like mosquitoes)
Tuck your pant legs into your socks. Ticks cannot fly and must instead jump or crawl onto their prey, so the ankles are a common target for ticks.
Avoid grassy, brushy, and heavily-wooded areas where ticks tend to thrive. Stick to trails when hiking and keep to the center of the trail to give ticks less chance to jump on you from the surrounding grass.
Check your skin and clothing for ticks prior to coming back inside so that you don’t risk taking them inside with you. Check between toes, under armpits, behind ears, and in the hair. Take a shower soon after spending extended time outdoors.
In addition to preventing ticks on your body, there are a number of steps you should also take to limit their presence around your home. Here are some effective ways to deter them from getting into your yard:
Keep the grass cut short and bushes trimmed so they have fewer hiding places.
Remove any debris or clutter from your yard. These spots can serve as nesting spots for rodents and other wildlife, and animals coming into your yard often bring ticks and other parasites with them.
Keep exterior trash cans in sealed, secured containers to further avoid attracting rodents and wildlife.
Eliminate any moisture problems around your yard such as clogged gutters, leaking hoses, etc. Make sure drains around your home are working properly and moving water away from your home’s foundations.
Unfortunately, while there are a number of steps you can take to get rid of ticks around your Dallas, TX yard, they are almost impossible to eliminate once an infestation is underway. If you are experiencing tick problems, your safest bet is always to contact a professional for assistance.
Are ticks getting into your home and onto your family and pets? Don’t wait: call the professionals at All-Safe Pest and Termite for help. With decades of experience behind us, we can handle any tick problem no matter the size or scope. Contact us today for more information and find out if a comprehensive tick treatment through All-Safe is the right solution for your home.