4 Things You Need To Know About Black-Legged Deer Ticks

12 August 2015
 Categories: , Blog

It's common knowledge that some types of ticks can transmit dangerous diseases like Lyme Disease, so no one wants to share their backyard or home with these pests. Here are four things you need to know about black-legged deer ticks.

What do they look like?

Male ticks don't feed on your blood and won't hurt you, so it's only important to know how to identify the females. Adult female ticks are very small when they haven't fed: less than 1/8 inch long. These eight-legged pests have flat, oval bodies. Their coloring can vary between reddish-orange and dark-brown. If the females have recently fed on blood, their bodies will be much larger and will look swollen. Their color changes as well after a meal; this varies based on how much they ate. Female ticks that have recently eaten can be light yellow, grey, blue, or dark brown. 

Where can you find them?

Black-legged deer ticks have a wide-range in the United States. They can be found in most of the eastern half of the United States. They are found in the states along the east coast, from Maine to Florida, and can be found as far west as Minnesota, Kansas, and Texas. They are not found in the western states.

Within their range, you may encounter ticks in wooded areas or in grasslands. They need to live in shaded areas with lots of foliage, so you won't find them in the middle of your lawn. You may find them in your garden, among piles of leaves, or at the edges of your property if your yard borders a forest or other wilderness area.

Do they infest houses?

Ticks are an outdoor pest species, but it's possible for them to infest houses. If a tick latches on to you or your pet, it could be accidentally introduced to your home. Once the tick is inside, it may lay eggs, which can lead to an infestation. A single female black-legged deer tick can lay between 1500 and 2000 eggs at once, so even one accidental invader could lead to an infestation. 

How can you control them?

Preventing an infestation is the best control method. To keep them out of your home, always check yourself and your pet for ticks before you go inside. To keep them out of your yard, you need to get rid of their habitat. Keep your grass cut short, get rid of leaf piles, and trim shrubs regularly. If ticks infest your home, you may need to use insecticides to get rid of them. 

If ticks take over your backyard or your home, call a pest control company like Bug Busters right away.