Should I Consult A Professional To Get Rid Of Ticks In Huntsville?

deer tick on leaf

Ticks are dangerous, parasitic pests that feed on the blood of animals. Parasites are living creatures that live on or within another organism, called a host. Parasites derive their nutrients from their host and survive at the expense of their host. There are several kinds of ticks in the Huntsville area, such as the black-legged tick (also called the deer tick), the lone star tick, the American dog tick, the brown dog tick, and the Gulf Coast tick.

Despite their name, deer ticks don't only feed on deer. They are reddish-brown with dark legs and are one of the smallest species of ticks. 

Lone star ticks get their name from the white marking on females' backs. This tick species is the most abundant around Huntsville. Lone star ticks are reddish-brown but turn gray when engorged. 

The American dog tick is also known as the wood tick. These ticks only exist in North America, and while they prefer to feed on dogs, they can make any warm-blooded animal their host. The American dog tick is brown with white or gray markings.

The brown dog tick is spread throughout Alabama and prefers to live indoors. These ticks can be tough to remove. Brown dog ticks are brown when unfed and blue-gray when fed. 

Lastly, the Gulf Coast tick looks similar to the American dog tick. Gulf Coast ticks prefer larger hosts, such as livestock, but will feed on humans and smaller pets if given a chance.

The Types Of Diseases Pests Can Spread 

Ticks prefer to stay in the brush between forests and flat grass. There, they find hosts by detecting their movements and breaths. If undisturbed, a tick could latch onto a host and feed for several days. As ticks are blood-eating parasites, they can pick up blood-borne pathogens and pass them on to other hosts. There are several diseases caused by ticks that are transmittable to humans and pets. 

Some illnesses that ticks can spread include spotted fever, Lyme disease, and Tularemia in humans. In dogs, ticks in Alabama often spread Ehrlichiosis. Spotted fever is the most commonly reported tick-borne illness in Alabama. It is an infection caused by Rickettsia bacteria and spreads via the bite of an infected tick. The symptoms include rash, fever, headache, and nausea.

Lyme disease is the most infamous tick-borne illness. Roughly 300,000 cases are reported each year in the United States alone. A characteristic bulls-eye rash is a common sign of Lyme disease. Other symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, brain fog, fatigue, body aches, and fever. Tularemia is a bacterial infection transmitted by infected ticks. Symptoms include vomiting, chills, and skin ulcers. Tularemia, if left untreated, can be fatal. 

Ehrlichiosis is a tick-borne illness that primarily affects dogs. In humans, Ehrlichiosis causes flu-like symptoms and confusion. The infection causes fever, respiratory issues, weight loss, and bleeding disorders in dogs. Ehrlichiosis can be fatal in dogs if left untreated.

Ticks In Huntsville Can Be Hard To Get Rid Of 

Getting rid of ticks in Huntsville can be quite tricky due to their small size. Tick larvae and eggs are even smaller, making them almost impossible to see with the naked eye. Ticks and tick eggs tend to hide in long fur, tall brush, or upholstery where it can be hard to spot them. 

The Six Best Ways To Get Rid Of & Prevent Ticks

The first and best step towards tick control is tick prevention. Preventative measures such as:

  1. Remove standing water and bird feeders from the yard so as not to attract wildlife that may be carrying ticks.
  2. Keep trash stored in lidded cans.
  3. Maintain a tidy yard and keep the lawn mowed low.
  4. Regularly vacuum and sweep.
  5. Place pets on a year-round tick preventative treatment.
  6. Keep a barrier of gravel between your property's tree line and yard.

These tips can make or break a tick-free yard and home.

Professional Pest Control Is The Easiest Way To Keep Ticks Away 

The only way to guarantee that ticks are removed and repelled from your Huntsville property is to work with a professional. For expert pest control in Huntsville, reach out to EnviroGuard. We offer eco-friendly treatments for all of your pest control needs. With over 40 years of combined experience and free initial inspections, you cannot go wrong with EnviroGuard. Call EnviroGuard today!