Did you know that ticks require an actual blood meal to survive? You often hear the phrase “fleas and ticks” from pest control providers – as if the two are nearly interchangeable.
Yet these two tiny pests are classified in completely different ways and may carry quite different illnesses. To know if your home is now also home to ticks, you must also understand how they differ from fleas.
Here’s what you need to know about tick control in Nashville, Tennessee:
- Adult Tick Classification
- Common Species You’ll Want to Avoid
- Tick Control with Certified Pest Control
Adult Tick Classification
A tick is a member of the arachnid family with eight legs. It is common to mistake adult ticks for fleas as they are about 2/5 inch long. It is easy to distinguish between fleas and ticks because fleas are much smaller at about 1/10 inch. Similarly, ticks are not impressive leapers and prefer to wait for their prey.
Soft-shell and hard-shell ticks are the two main types in the tick family. In order to protect your home, you should know about both. Unlike the hard-shelled variety, soft-shelled varieties are not aggressive. A single tick usually stays attached to one host and feeds short periods at night (usually less than an hour). It is more common for soft-shell ticks to behave like bed bugs in terms of feeding habits and to stay close to their nest.
Hard-shell ticks will travel from host to host searching for longer, more satisfying meals lasting for a few days or up to a week. Hard-shell ticks will wait for prey to arrive, then extend their front legs in the air and latch onto a host passing by.
Common Species You’ll Want to Avoid
You are most likely to encounter hard-shell ticks in your home. These ticks are sometimes referred to as “three host ticks,” because they require a blood meal for each stage of their life cycle. The life cycle of a tick can be very varied, lasting from 90 days to 3 years. Each of the pest species mentioned below is diurnal, meaning that these types of ticks will seek out a host during the daytime.
American Dog Tick (“Wood Tick”)
The American Dog Tick in its adult stage prefers to target dogs. Humans are a secondary choice for feeding, but these ticks can carry significant illnesses.
- 5 mm to 15 mm in length
- Reddish-brown color
- Most often seen east of the Rocky Mountains
- Capable of transmitting Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia
- Inactive during fall and winter
- May be removed by DIY methods
Blacklegged Tick (“Deer Tick”)
The Blacklegged Tick can be found in the forests of the northeastern U.S. The white-tailed deer is their favorite host. They are most active between October and May, and adult females are known for their aggression.
- 3 mm to 10 mm in length
- dark brown or black
- This species does not have eyes
- Can transmit Lyme disease, Babesiosis, and Anaplasmosis
- May be removed by DIY methods
Brown Dog Tick
One of the most commonly observed tick species around the world is seen in homes, in kennels, and in animals’ pens. Brown dog ticks, which spend most of their lives indoors, are a common threat for homeowners and pet owners.
- 3 mm to 12 mm in length
- May carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever to dogs
- Seek Professional Treatment
Lone Star Tick
The Lone Star tick carries a single, highly visible, white patch on its back that contrasts with the rest of its brown body. In addition to humans, dogs, deer, and cattle can also be at risk from this notorious tick bite. Spring and summer are prime times for Lone Star tick activity in woodlands and grassy areas.
- 3 mm in length
- May transmit illnesses to people
- Usually inactive during fall and winter
- May be removed by DIY method
Tick Control with Certified Pest Control
Certified Pest Control is local family-owned and operated. With 4 generations of pest control experience dating back to 1953, we are proud to provide honest and reliable service only our local family business can offer.
We practice Integrated Pest Management, an effective & environmentally sensitive approach to pest control. All technicians are licensed according to TN standards, with continuing education and training.