The Ticks That Call Arizona Home
There are few pest threats that are a disconcerting as ticks. These small arachnids are vectors for many serious diseases that can lead to lifelong medical complications. So, it is important that residents of Arizona take the time to get to know the ticks that live in our region—and one tick species in particular.
Brown Dog Tick
The most common ticks we find in our Arizona homes are brown dog ticks. These are resilient ticks that can survive as long two years without acquiring a blood meal and are able to complete their entire life cycle indoors, unlike other ticks.
As their name implies, these ticks prefer to feed on dogs. But they will also attach to cats and humans as their populations grow within a home as well as rodents and wildlife animals when living out in nature.
Brown dog ticks are linked to the spread of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, the most common tick-borne disease in Arizona, which isn't surprising since these are the most common ticks found inside our homes. They also commonly spread canine ehrlichiosis and canine Babesia.
Black-legged Tick (Deer Tick)
In our region, we also have the Western black-legged tick to contend with. Though their populations are currently low, these ticks have the ability to use birds as hosts which makes them highly mobile. Black-legged ticks are linked to the spread of Lyme disease, an illness that can become chronic and lead to lifelong health complications. Rodent infestations are strongly connected to the distribution of Lyme disease.
Lone Star Ticks
Lone star ticks can also be found in our area of Arizona. These ticks are named after the distinctive yellowish-white spot on their backs. Though these ticks primarily feed on white-tailed deer and wild turkeys, they are also known to feed on people and their pets. When they do bite, they can cause Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis (HME), tularemia, Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness (STARI), and alpha-gal allergy (red meat allergy), a lifelong illness known to cause serious medical problems. These ticks are also suspected of spreading Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, though this has not been proven at this point. Lone star ticks are known to travel long distances in search of a host and are active almost all year round.
Ticks In General
There are over 25 species of ticks in Arizona, all of which are able to spread diseases. Some of the illnesses spread by ticks are Colorado tick fever, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, tularemia, tick paralysis, Powassan virus, Heartland and Bourbon virus, anaplasmosis, Rickettsia parkeri Rickettsiosis, relapsing fever, and more.
- Make sure to get veterinarian-prescribed tick products for your dogs or cats. Every time a pet goes outside into nature, there is a possibility of them picking up ticks. Your pets can also bring you into close contact with ticks, putting you at risk of contracting tick-borne diseases.
- If you're finding signs of rodents in your home such as droppings, urine, chewed holes, or sounds inside your walls, it is important to deal with the infestation quickly. Mice don't only introduce ticks into homes, they can spread them all throughout the home as well, from top to bottom. And a single mouse can carry as many as 100 seed ticks on its body!
- If you have a dog that goes out into the yard to play, it is important to understand that they are likely to explore areas where ticks hide. Consider creating a fenced-in play area for your furry family member. This will help keep your dog from accidentally wandering into shaded, moist locations where ticks wait for a host as well as reduce the wildlife traffic that can bring ticks into your yard.
- When spending time out into your yard, be aware that you can pick up ticks just about anywhere. Consider wearing mosquito repellent to help deter ticks from choosing you as their next host.
- Ticks require a lot of moisture to survive. Avoid going into tall grass or moist, shady locations where questing ticks are likely to be.
- Ticks are quite small. When going outdoors, wear light-colored clothing to make it easier to see ticks as they climb onto you. Also, consider tucking your pant legs into your socks to prevent ticks from climbing under your pant legs and attaching to your skin.
- Perform routine tick checks on your pets, your children, and yourself. Catching ticks early can prevent the spread of diseases.
- Consider investing in a pest control service for your home that includes tick reduction. When you have fewer ticks in your yard, you have less chance of being bitten or having them brought into your home.
If you need assistance reducing tick populations and preventing rodent infestations in the Phoenix area, reach out to Schendel. We provide industry-leading pest control service in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, and Arizona!
Ticks are a growing concern for families in the United States. Some of the diseases they spread are chronic—and they can make life miserable! Reduce the threat for your family with trusted home pest control from Schendel. Learn more here!
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