If you're not yet aware, the blacklegged tick, also referred to as a deer tick, is the tick directly linked to the spread of Lyme disease. While entomologists and scientists are finding a connection with other ticks, the blacklegged tick remains public enemy number one. So, it is a good idea to know what this tick looks like and how to prevent it from spreading disease.
Blacklegged ticks are small. Adults only grow to be about 1/8 of an inch in length, and larvae of this tick species can perch on the tip of a pen. In fact, a single field mouse can have as many as 100 blacklegged ticks living in its fur.
Identification of blacklegged ticks becomes fairly easy when they get to adult size, especially if you find a female blacklegged tick on your skin. Females have a noticeable color difference. They are black from the middle to the tip of their head, and lighter brown or orange from the middle back. If you look at them sideways, from the top down, it almost looks like the lighter area makes a stretched out crescent moon shape. And, as their name suggests, their legs are black.
If you find a tick attached to you, dislodge it and place it in a plastic bag for identification. This information can help your physician give a proper diagnosis.
Tick Prevention Tips
If you have a pet, make sure your pet is given veterinarian-prescribed tick products. Pet owners have a higher risk of contracting tick-borne diseases.
If your pet(s) go outside, consider keeping them on a leash or in a fenced-in area that has tick control. When pets go into grassy areas, they have a high chance of picking ticks up and bringing them back inside.
If you have a rodent issue, be aware that rodents can spread ticks around your home. Controlling this pest problem is vital in protecting against secondary pests and the diseases they carry.
When you go outside, spray insect repellent on your lower legs, ankles, and feet. This can deter ticks from climbing up.
If you intend to work or play in an area that has tall grass, tuck your pant legs into your socks and wear light-colored pants. Ticks don't fall from trees. They must climb all the way up your body to get to your hair.
If you need assistance protecting your home from ticks and other harmful pests, reach out to Rottler. Our pest specialists are educated and certified in the most advanced pest protocols. When it comes to managing invasive pests, you can trust Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions.