The season for ticks in Virginia begins May through August and peaks in June through July. In fact, May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. And due to the mild winter this year so far, the tick population is expected to boom exponentially. It is essential to talk about tick awareness before the actual season so that you know how to approach this spring. Avoid ticks this spring through fall 2022 with James River Pest Solutions.
The most common ticks in Virginia are the following:
- American Dog Tick
- Blacklegged Tick
- Lone Star Tick
Ticks can be a year-round pest, but Virginia’s ticks are most troublesome in the spring and summer months. Learn what you can do to avoid ticks any time of year with James River Pest Solutions.
Three Common Ticks in Virginia
These insidious ticks are blood-sucking annoyances and so much more. Just the thought of them feasting on your pet, or worse, on you, can make your skin crawl. Typically, ticks are carried in the home on people or pets who have been trekking through the woods or on an outdoor adventure.
To avoid bringing these dangerous pests inside your home, here is what you should know.
The American Dog Tick
Found on dogs, most often, the American dog tick will attach itself to many different mammals, including humans. The nymphs will attach to rodents and pets, but the adults will feed on humans. And the danger with these ticks lies in the spreading of a disease called Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. RMSF is identified by fever, headache, and a rash. Those bitten will need antibiotics in order to treat the deadly disease.
The Blacklegged Tick
Often called the “deer tick,” this tiny speck is found outdoors but can be tracked in as well. And this one is the carrier of the dreaded Lyme Disease. In addition, this tick carries a life-threatening parasitic infection that attacks the red blood cells, called Babesiosis.
The Lone Star Tick
One of the more common and easily recognized ticks is the Lone Star. It is named for the whitish dot on the female’s back. Both females and males are reddish-brown all over.
If You Find a Tick on Yourself or a Pet
Unfortunately, it happens. The family goes out for a long walk in the woods or a forest park, and someone comes back with a tick. Here is what you should do if you or a pet gets a tick.
- Pull back any hair or fur so the tick is fully exposed.
- With tweezers, grasp the head of the tick, not the body.
- Pull the tick straight out.
- Once the tick is out, flush it or put it in a trash bag.
- Wash the bite area with warm soapy water.
Finally, monitor the bite for the next couple of weeks. If any symptoms arise, get to the family doctor or the vet for a thorough examination.
Tick Bite Symptoms
Bites often happen in hard-to-see areas like the scalp, armpits, groin, and behind the knees. And because they have a numbing agent in their saliva, you will not even feel the bite. For this reason, it is so important to look for them. Here are the more immediate symptoms you may see should a tick bite you.
- A red bullseye ring
- Joint Pain
- Tick paralysis
The symptoms of a tick-borne disease will occur within a few days to a few weeks after a tick bite. Ensure anyone bitten seeks medical attention after receiving a tick bite to be on the safe side.
Preventing Ticks in Virginia Year Round
The key to tick prevention is effective habitat modification and immediate tick removal. You can keep the grass cut low and trim brush away from paths into wooded areas at home. Another excellent idea is to keep any and all rat attractors out of your yard and away from your home and pets play areas.
As you may know, ticks can be relentless. Therefore, preventing them from getting on your pet or entering the home is the best idea. Here is what we suggest at James River Pest Solutions
1. Remove ticks as soon as found on a person or pet.
2. Apply insect and tick repellent with 20% DEET to bare skin and clothing anytime you are going on a ramble in the woods.
3. When in grassy areas, especially tall grass, wetland, and shrubbery, wear clothing covering the arms, legs, and feet—tuck pants inside socks or boots. Wear a hat.
4. Wear light-colored clothing as this will make it easier to see ticks.
5. If you are going to be in the garden or touching plants, wear garden gloves.
6. Immediately after being outdoors, check clothing before entering the home. Place clothing in a plastic bag to go directly into the wash.
7. Shower right after spending time outdoors and check your skin and scalp.
8. Ensure you use a veterinary-approved tick control method for your pet.
9. Clean kennels and bedding areas if ticks are discovered on your dog.
Finally, be sure to rid your yard of any rodent attractors. That way, you only have to check the family pets and humans. James River Pest Solutions can treat for ticks and rodents too.
Rodents Carry Ticks and More
Keeping ticks and rats out of your Virginia home is imperative to the health of your home and family. You can help keep the rodents that carry these ticks out by following a few steps for prevention.
- Keep a tight lid on all trash cans, so rats do not see an instant food source.
- Clear clutter from the yard, garage, and shed. This eliminates hiding places for rodents.
- Remove attractors like bird feeders and outdoor pet bowls.
- Seal all the possible entry points.
- Hire a professional to inspect the area for those entry points and attractors.
At James River Pest Solutions, we can make certain entry points in your roofing, siding, exhaust vents, cracked weather stripping, and other areas are sealed, and that rodents carrying ticks cannot enter the building.
Pest Solutions with James River
Using a professional pest solutions company is the best method to rid your home and yard of nuisance pests and rodents. James River’s technicians will inspect your home for the source of the invasion and the entry points. They will save you time and energy by providing quicker and more effective results than using DIY treatments. Additionally, you can avoid possible diseases and damage that pests can cause to your home by hiring professionals.
If you are fighting an infestation of any of Virginia’s pests, including ticks, please call a professional. At James River Pest Solutions, we are ready to fight the good fight for you and your home. James River is your friendly Virginia pest control service, serving Metro Richmond, Glen Allen, and Central VA for over 20 years.
Contact our team of professionals today to keep ticks off and get those pests out of your space and help keep them out, too.