Tick Extermination and Control
Ticks are parasitic arthropods that live by drawing blood from their hosts. They are significant public health pests and are associated with the transmission of several serious diseases. ALLGone Services provides high quality tick extermination services throughout the Dallas / Fort Worth Metropolitan area and all of North Texas.
Biology of Ticks Commonly Found in Texas
Ticks are small, parasitic arthropods that feed on blood. They’re not insects because insects, by definition, have six legs and three body segments as adults. Ticks have eight legs as adults and two body segments, and belong to the class Acachnida, which also includes mites, spiders, and scorpions.
There are many species of ticks, but the two species most commonly found in Texas are the Brown Dog Tick and the Lone Star Tick. We also encounter two other species, the American Dog Tick and the Deer Tick, from time to time.
Brown Dog Ticks
The brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, is small and brownish in color. It’s also the only tick we know of that can complete its entire life cycle indoors.
As its name implies, dogs and other canines are the brown dog ticks’ strongly preferred hosts. But brown dog ticks will feed on humans and other non-canine animals if there are no canines around and the ticks are starving for some grub. Each meal is important to brown dog ticks because they usually feed only three times during their entire lives: Once while they’re in in the larval stage, once while they’re nymphs, and once when they become adults.
These are also the only three times that they leave the animals whose blood they’re feeding on: Brown dog ticks leave their hosts to molt from larvae to nymphs, and then again to molt from nymphs to adults, and one more time to mate after their one feeding as adults. They spend the rest of their lives living on their host animals’ bodies.
Brown dog ticks are known to transmit ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia spp.) in dogs and cats, and canine babesiosis (Babesia canis) in dogs. They’re also capable of transmitting rickettsial diseases in humans, but this is uncommon in the United States.
Lone Star Ticks
Lone Star ticks, Amblyomma americanum, are common throughout Texas. The adults are tan to brown in color and range in size from 1/4 inch to 1/3 inch in length before a meal, and as large as 1/2 inch in length when they are engorged with blood after feeding. Adult females have a distinctive white “star” on their backs.
The Lone Star tick is one of the “three-host” ticks, meaning that they feed on different hosts at each stage of their life cycles. In the case of the Lone Star tick, they’re also pretty particular about what kind of host they feed on at each stage. The larvae and nymphs tend to prefer small animals like rodents or birds (but they generally won’t feed on the same animal as nymphs as they did as larvae). The adults prefer larger animals such as canines, bovines, horses, and deer. All three stages will feed on humans (but prefer feeding on different humans at each stage).
The bite of a Lone Star tick usually isn’t painful at first and may go unnoticed for quite some time. But after a while, the area bitten may become swollen and painful. The bite of a Lone Star tick may also transmit several serious diseases including Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis, Tularemia, Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness (STARI), and possibly Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
The methods we use to control ticks vary depending upon the specie of tick, the extent and location of the infestation, and whether there are any animals present. Treatment may consist of interior and/or exterior application of insecticides, landscaping improvements (for example, cutting tall grass or removing weeds), and having animals treated with suitable products.
Very often, homes with tick problems also have rodentor nuisance animal problems that the homeowner may not even be aware of. When this is the case, the rodent, animal, or bird problem has to be addressed before we can take care of the tick problem. Ticks are parasites, and trying to exterminate ticks without addressing the hosts is a waste of time and money.
Long story short: Every tick case is different, and we custom-tailor our tick control programs to each particular account.
Please call us at 817-589-1632 for more information about how we can help you eliminate your tick problem, or for any of your pest control needs.
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