Many people know about ticks. They make their presence known today as a high-risk health threat, though they were simply once considered nuisance that would obnoxiously latch onto our pets, or even us, and once removed would leave an itchy discomfort at most. Due to the number of threatening ailments and diseases they can transmit, we at Stewart Termite & Pest Control would like to take the opportunity to discuss the common ticks in Philadelphia.
There are more than 500 species of ticks worldwide. These pests typically feed on the blood warm-blooded mammals, but will select a reptile, bird, or amphibian as a host if necessary. In addition to Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ticks can result in transmitting viruses, rickettsia, bacteria, spirochetes, and Parasitic worms. There are more than 25 species of ticks have been identified across Pennsylvania, however, the most common include the blacklegged tick, the American dog tick, the lone star tick, and the ground hog tick.
Lone Star Tick
These ticks are more aggressive in getting inside buildings and are often found in well-manicured lawns and prefer the comfort of indoor living. Amongst the wild and domestic animals as well as people are where these ticks are discovered. Lone Star Ticks commonly transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, and Tularemia.
They are still more common than the others and worth mentioning though less common than the other ticks. As the name implies, they are usually very host-specific for groundhogs, but will also use birds, small animals or humans as hosts as well. They are not likely to spread disease since they tend to feed only on groundhogs.
American Dog Tick
The American Dog Ticks are the top-most encountered tick that will easily attach themselves onto pets or people. They are notorious for transmitting Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Once called deer ticks, blacklegged ticks, are most populated through the woods or in meadows and are likely to spread Lyme Disease.
Tick Life Cycle
Ticks have four life stages: eggs, larvae, nymph and adult. The eggs can number in the thousands which are laid by the female tick. Larvae attaches to smaller animals, like mice and birds, once their eggs are hatched. They will detach and develop into nymphs after several days of feeding and they then attach to a new, larger host, and repeat until they are adults and attach to a new host. Ticks will start molting and shed their old skin for the next life-cycle with each stage.
In the event you notice you or a pet has a tick, immediately remove it with fine-tipped tweezers, grip the tick as close to the skin as possible and with steady, even pressure, pull it upward. Because it can cause the mouth parts to break off and remain in the skin, be sure to avoid any twisting or jerking. After discarding the tick, wash the wound with warm water and soap. Should you develop a rash, fever, headache, or pains, call a doctor. Afterwards, to ensure any ticks or viable eggs are effectively destroyed to avoid further bites to your loved ones, call Stewart Termite & Pest Control.