Tick Identification Guide

What are ticks?

A type of arachnid, ticks are related to mites and scorpions. Ticks are ectoparasites, which means they feed on the blood of their host by attaching themselves to the outside of the host’s body. Adult ticks have eight legs and a single body region. Their head-like structure has sensory apparatus that help them to locate their hosts. They also have a cutting structure (chelicerae) that cuts the skin of their host so that they can anchor themselves and feed.

a tick crawling on a leaf outside a home

The tick’s only source of food is the blood of warm-blooded mammals. Common hosts for ticks are people, wild animals, rodents, dogs, and cats. In Alabama, the deer tick and cat tick are two common species that people and animals come into contact with regularly.

Are ticks dangerous?

Dangerous because of their ability to spread dangerous diseases to people and our pets, ticks are a pest that should always be controlled and never allowed to thrive on any property. Deer ticks spread Lyme disease, which can cause significant health problems. Other diseases that ticks spread throughout Alabama include babesiosis, anaplasmosis, tularemia, and ehrlichiosis, rickettsiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Why do I have a tick problem?

Wild animals traveling across your yard is the most common way that ticks will find their way onto your property. Ticks do not fly or jump; they spend most of their lives on the back of their hosts. You and your pets can come into contact with ticks in a variety of outdoor places like wooded paths, fields, dog parks, campgrounds, athletic fields, and parks.

Where will I find ticks?

Ticks that are not on the backs of a host live outside in damp, dark areas. Most species of ticks are not able to survive indoors because they are not able to complete their breeding cycle inside. They must lay their eggs in moist soil for them to develop. Ticks waiting for a new host to happen by usually hide in tall grass, thick vegetation, at the edges of wooded paths, under bushes, and in the grass along ponds and lakes.

How do I get rid of ticks?

Get rid of ticks by partnering with the trusted experts at Custom Pest Control. For over 20 years, we have been helping home, and business owners maintain pest-free properties. If you are looking for a personal approach to pest control, look no further.

At Custom Pest Control, we customize our pest control programs to meet the unique needs of each of our customers. Let our family protect your family from North Alabama’s toughest pests! For more information about our tick control service, reach out to Custom Pest Control, and speak with one of our friendly professionals today.

How can I prevent ticks in the future?

The best way to prevent problems with ticks is to partner with a professional and implement the following prevention tips in and around your Huntsville home:

  • Keep grass cut short and shrubs and bushes well-trimmed.

  • Cut overgrown grass and shrubbery back away from the exterior of your home.

  • When spending time outside, use an appropriate tick repellent.

  • Put pets on a year-round tick control program.

  • Seal up spaces around the exterior of your home to prevent wild animals from gaining access.

  • Remove bird feeders from your property that may attract foraging animals.

  • Place tight-fitting lids on trash cans and compost bins to keep foraging animals away.

 

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