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What are ticks?

Ticks are pests that are usually associated with the outdoors. Though a few species of ticks can complete their lifecycle indoors, most cannot. Ticks are not insects; they are a type of arachnid and are close relatives of spiders, mites, and scorpions. In addition to being arachnids, ticks are external parasites. These pests feed on warm-blooded animals' blood by piercing their host's skin and sucking out the liquid. Blood is the sole source of nutrition for these pests. Each of their different lifecycles requires a blood meal from a new host. Adult ticks have eight legs, have a single oval body region, and do not have wings or antennae. Ticks in Boston are typically black, reddish-brown, or dark brown, and some have distinctive lighter markings.

Are ticks dangerous?

Sharing your Boston yard with ticks is dangerous. Throughout their lives, ticks feed on the blood of many different hosts. Ticks are slow feeders, allowing them to acquire and transmit diseases to people and animals quickly. 

Examples of disease ticks spread in our region include:

  • Lyme disease
  • Tularemia
  • Anaplasmosis
  • Babesiosis
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever

The spread of disease by ticks is the most concerning danger associated with ticks. However, their bites can also produce unpleasant redness and swelling around the bite site. The opening created by a tick bite can allow bacteria to enter your body and trigger a secondary infection. Keeping ticks out of your yard and away from your family is important to everyone’s health and safety. 

Why do I have a tick problem?

You most likely have a problem with ticks in your yard because it offers wildlife things like food, water, and nesting sites. Some of the tick's most common hosts are pests like mice, squirrels, raccoons, deer, and skunks, which are all animals that regularly pass through or live in our outdoor spaces. Once ticks are in your yard, they hang out in dark, damp areas of dense vegetation or leaf litter until they find a new host. The more animal activity you have on or near your property, the more problems with ticks you are likely to experience. Seasonal tick protection delivered by a local professional is the best way to avoid problems with ticks on your property. 

Where will I find ticks?

Ticks inhabit various habitats, including woodlands, forest trails, meadows, fields, and our backyards. Ticks can gather in parks, athletic fields, and abandoned lots in more urban areas. 

After feeding and becoming full, ticks will fall to the ground, digesting their blood meal and developing into their next life stage. Once ready to feed again, they crawl to the top of a piece of grass or vegetation. They wait patiently for a new host to brush past them that they can crawl onto, attach themselves to, and use as a food source. Ticks feed for several days and move wherever their new host takes them. 

How do I get rid of ticks?

Control ticks with the help of a professional. Because rodents and wildlife regularly introduce ticks into outdoor spaces, keeping them out of your yard is difficult. The easiest way to get rid of unwanted ticks is through regular tick control services performed by knowledgeable home and commercial pest control professionals. Here at General Environmental Services, we know the types of ticks that call the Boston area home and how to treat and successfully control them. For more information about our superior Boston pest control services, please call today.

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