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Everything McAllen Residents Need To Know About Ticks

Most McAllen residents don't know much about ticks, aside from fearing them. It is common knowledge that ticks can spread Lyme disease and many other scary diseases that create lifelong health symptoms. But you don't have to fear ticks. Not all ticks are the same. And not all ticks are infected with diseases. Join us today as we break down the most important facts you need to know about ticks in McAllen. We'll look at the kinds of ticks we have in our area, what brings them into our yards, how to guard against tick bites, and what to do when you keep finding ticks in your yard. For immediate assistance or advice regarding ticks or tick pest control in McAllen, navigate to our contact page and share your concerns with us. The BUGWORKS Termite & Pest Control team can guide you toward an effective and sustainable solution.

What Types Of Ticks Are Found Around McAllen?

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We have several tick species in Texas. We're not going to bore you with detail about each. What you need to know most about ticks is how they impact your life. So, rather than look at each species, let's discuss the different kinds of ticks in McAllen.

Dog Ticks: Some ticks prefer to bite your dog or cat. While they can bite you, and they may transmit diseases, they don't readily bite people. The primary issue with these ticks is that they can get into your home and remain permanently, as they are able to complete their entire life cycle indoors. 

Ticks That Bite Humans: Some ticks readily bite people. These ticks will climb on you while you're out in your yard, and you may carry them indoors. But they don't survive permanently indoors, and you can prevent getting a disease if you're bitten by an infected tick. The primary method of disease prevention is routine tick checks. A tick doesn't immediately infect you with a disease. It takes hours for the disease-causing bacteria to pass from a tick to you in a large enough quantity to overwhelm your immune system. When you come back inside, always take a look to see if you have an unwanted hitchhiker and remove it.

Seed Ticks: A seed tick is a baby tick with six legs. If you find a tiny six-legged tick on your skin, we have some good news for you; it is likely that you're its first meal. This is good news because ticks aren't born with diseases. They pick them up and spread them as they bite subsequent hosts. Therefore, you may conclude that you have not been exposed.    

It isn't good to find a tick on you or your pets but take comfort in knowing that things aren't as bad as you may think. While it is certainly good to take steps to get rid of ticks, evaluating seed ticks and catching them early can give you some peace of mind. 

What Attracts Ticks To Certain Yards And Homes?

You can reduce your fear of ticks even more if you take steps to reduce them in your yard. There are a few common reasons ticks appear in McAllen yards. If you understand the conducive conditions, you can do something about them.

Weeds: Do you have a backyard area with lots of weeds in the grass? Do you notice animals feeding on that grass? If so, keep in mind that animals bring ticks into your yard. A weed problem is a catalyst for a tick problem.

Grass: Do you have areas of tall grass? If so, you have a habitat that is perfect for ticks. Grass holds moisture and humidity, which ticks need for survival. Grass is also the perfect place for a tick to wait for a host. Ticks crawl to the tips of grass blades and wait with front legs stretched to cling to passing animals or pant legs. 

Trash: Do you have a trash can with no cover, a stinky receptacle, or a junk pile? All of these can attract animals and bring ticks into your yard. The most common animal to target trash receptacles is raccoons, which can carry a lot of ticks on their bodies.

Seeds: Do you have bird feeders? Rodents eat birdseed. They'll even scale trees and home exteriors to get to bird feeders. A little mouse can have dozens of seed ticks on its body. And rodents aren't the only animals that carry ticks and eat bird seed. Birds carry ticks too. It is best to move feeders away from your home.

Everything you do to reduce animal activity in your yard will help you deter ticks from living in your yard. If you also take steps to prevent tick bites and address ticks early, you'll be on your way to guarding against tick-borne diseases. 

How McAllen Residents Can Protect Themselves And Their Pets From Bites

Tick protection begins with you. You are the gatekeeper. There are many ways you can guard yourself and your pets. Here are a few of the best recommendations from our on-staff tick experts.

  • Avoid tick-infested areas on and off your property. The best way to avoid picking up ticks is to avoid the areas you know you'll be more likely to pick one up.
  • Apply repellent to your legs and feet. Ticks scale your body to get to your head. They don't fall from trees. As they climb on your shoes or pants, a standard mosquito repellent with DEET can cause them to drop off.
  • Wear bright-colored clothing. Ticks are small, but they're not so small that you can't see them. When a little tick scales bright clothing, it is easier to track.
  • Consider tucking your pants into your socks. Ticks often climb up underneath pant legs. Tucking in your pants will make ticks have to scale your pants on the outside rather than inside, where you can't see them.
  • When you return home from being out in the woods, consider taking a shower. Showering can help with doing a tick check. 
  • Routinely check your pets for ticks. There are two ways to check for ticks on your pet. You can feel their skin for bumps or use a comb to part the hair and check for attached ticks. Make sure to also check their ears and between their toes. These are places ticks like to attach.

If you find a tick on your skin, it is essential to properly remove it. How does tick removal work? The best thing to use for the job is a tick removal tool. It is good to keep one around your home. If you don't have one, find some fine-tipped tweezers to remove the tick. When pinching a tick to remove it from your skin, get as close to your skin as possible and try to avoid pinching the body of the tick. Pinching the body will introduce more bacteria from the tick into the wound, increasing the chance of disease transmission if the tick is infected. 

Next, you need to know what to do after a tick bite. While there is no way to prevent disease once the bacteria has transferred, there are ways you can reduce the discomfort of the tick wound.

  • Put the tick in a sealed plastic bag or container with some rubbing alcohol, just in case you have to show it to your physician for identification.
  • Clean the wound with soapy water. Use an antiseptic if needed.
  • Check the bite wound for symptoms. If you see a bullseye rash, it is a warning sign of Lyme disease. Other rashes, swelling, itching, etc., are expected and not necessarily cause for concern. You may use an antihistamine cream to reduce these symptoms.
  • If you start to have muscle aches, joint pain, fever, headache, fatigue, or other symptoms following a tick bite, contact your physician.

If you have pets, one of the best things you can do is to work with your veterinarian to stay up to date on a tick preventative. You can also work with a professional to reduce tick populations on your property.

Why Tick Activity In McAllen Calls For Professional Treatment

Tick-borne diseases are on the rise in the United States, and Lyme disease is only one of many diseases spread by ticks. While not every tick that bites you is infected with a disease, it is best to take precautions to guard against illness. 

When you have routine treatments from a pest control service provider, you can put ticks out of your mind. You can go outside, relax in your yard, and not have to think about any of the prevention tips provided above. Life is a lot nicer when you have less to worry about.

Professional flea control treatments also provide another benefit that might not immediately come to mind. If your dog or cat gets sick, it costs money when you have to go to the veterinarian. Why not save your money? Or put your money into a pest control service plan.

If you live in McAllen, let BUGWORKS Termite & Pest Controlhelp you get coverage for ticks, mosquitoes, stinging insects, cockroaches, ants, and other pests. We use industry-leading methods and products to provide the highest level of protection for your family and your property. Connect with us today to schedule service.

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