How To Effectively Keep Ticks Off Your Austin Property

dog tick on a plant

Even though they’re tiny, ticks can be a huge problem. You definitely don’t want these bloodsucking bugs around your home. So what do you do if you see one? There are a few tricks for preventing bites on hikes or other outdoor excursions, but if ticks are on your property, you may need professional help. If you’re looking for pest control in the Austin, Texas area, EnviroGuard is here to help.

The Diseases That Ticks Can Spread

Ticks differ from some other pests because they aren’t just annoying; they can be dangerous. Ticks are carriers of many diseases, including Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and ehrlichiosis. Most of these have similar symptoms: fever, rashes, joint pain, and stomach upset. Lyme disease in particular is known for its specific bullseye rash, which can also be caused by southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI). Sometimes symptoms can take weeks to set in, so if you see any of them within months after a tick bite you should consult your doctor. 

Common Ticks in the Austin Area

There are three types of ticks commonly seen around Austin:

Despite the name, American dog ticks will also bite humans. Adults can be seen in Texas through spring and summer. These variations are typically 1/8 of an inch before feeding, and can be up to half an inch long when engorged with blood. American dog ticks are usually brown with white markings on their backs. 

Lone star ticks are named after the single spot on their backs. The silver marking stands out against the tick’s reddish-brown body. They’re found from west central Texas eastward toward Missouri, making the Austin and San Antonio areas likely homes for these pests. 

The black-legged, or deer tick also gets its name from its physical appearance. These ticks have orange-brown bodies with distinctive black legs. They’re also much smaller than American dog and lone star ticks; black-legged ticks are usually about the size of a sesame seed. 

Unfortunately, the most common sign of a tick infestation is actually seeing one, whether that’s on yourself, a pet, or just on your property. So what can you do once you’ve seen a tick?

Five Ways To Get Rid Of Ticks

Most ticks don’t survive indoors, so the steps to treating an infestation focus on outside property. But just because ticks are “outside pests” doesn’t mean you want them in your yard. Here are five ways to protect yourself from ticks so you can enjoy your time outdoors:

  1. When coming inside from the outdoors, put any clothing worn outside in the dryer on high heat for 10-15 minutes. This will kill off any ticks that hitched a ride on your clothes and is especially important after outdoor activities such as hiking.
  2. Keep your property clear from overgrown plants and debris. Ticks like to live in bushy areas where they can hide from the sun; raking up old leaves and trimming back bushes and tall grass limits the number of hiding places.
  3. Place mulch, wood chips, or gravel around your property. This creates a barrier that ticks can’t cross, dividing your yard from any wooded areas near or on your property, as well as creating a buffer zone around your house.
  4. Apply insect repellant on yourself and pesticide around your home.
  5. Call a professional pest control company

In cases of infestation, it’s better to have professional help. Pest control companies have experience using safe and effective methods of pest control that can keep your property protected against ticks.

But what about ticks on your person? The first step if you see a tick is always to check yourself for bites. If you do see a tick on your body, a family member, or a pet, here’s how to get rid of it:

  1. Use a pair of fine tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible
  2. Pull directly upwards
  3. Be sure you don’t twist the tick at all, or else the mouthparts can actually stay embedded in the skin
  4. Dispose of the tick by flushing it down the toilet or throwing it away. Clean the bite with soap and water

Want to avoid tick bites in the first place? EnviroGuard offers specific tick treatments to keep you and your family safe.

Professional Tick Reduction Services in Austin Homes

EnviroGuard’s top priority is your health and safety. If you suspect you have a tick infestation, we will gladly come to your home for an inspection. If we find ticks, we’ll create a treatment plan based on your needs. Our service professionals are armed with a variety of pest control methods, and they’ll work hard to keep your home protected from ticks. Call today to get a free quote.