Ticks love warm climates and they are found in Texas.
Common tick species you can find in Texas
Studies suggest that the most common tick species that thrive in Texas include the American Dog Tick species, Lone Star Tick species, Blacklegged Ticks, and Brown Dog Ticks. Below are the detailed information of each of these species;
The Lone Star Tick species
This tick species generally thrives throughout the southern and eastern states of the United States of America. To some degree, female Lone Star Tick species vary from the males in appearance. Females have an approximate length of 3mm to 4mm, and their bodies and legs are brown. On the back of a female’s body, there is a yellow or white mark. On the other hand, males are slightly smaller, and their bodies’ perimeter consists of small white lines.
You will likely identify a female Lone Star Tick species due to its aggressiveness that is more than males. The females’ aggressiveness is due to their urge to lay eggs that need nutrients supplementation from a host. In Texas, Stari is a disease that highly relates to the Lone Star Tick species. Stari is a serious tick disease that can make you allergic to red meat for the rest of your life. So take caution.
The Brown Dog Ticks
Typically, an unfed brown dog tick has a length of around 3mm, but it can grow to lengths of 12mm. In Texas, these ticks are conspicuous because they have brown legs carrying a dark body. On rare occasions, you will find brown dog ticks biting on humans as they mostly prefer their hosts to be animals with canines such as dogs.
However, this doesn’t mean that they do not transfer diseases to human beings. Brown dog ticks mostly lead to diseases such as babesiosis and ehrlichiosis in dogs. You need to be more careful with this tick species, especially if you own dog pets, because the ticks can literary complete their life cycles indoors.
The American Dog Tick species
These ticks species are easily noticeable due to their eye-catching gray or yellowish markings on their brown backs. They have a length of approximately 5mm when in the unfed state, but when engorged, they can grow up to a length of 15mm. Although the American dog tick species love animals’ scents, there have been significant reported cases where they bite human beings, particularly during the summer season. The disease associated with this species is Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
The Black-legged Ticks
All black-legged ticks have an approximate length of 3mm to 5mm, and as the name suggests, their legs are black. Females and makes have distinctive features, with females being easily noticeable than males. As for females, the back of their bodies consists of an orange crescent that surrounds a black circle, whereas males have a completely black body.
Besides thriving well in favorable weather conditions such as summer, spring, and autumn months, the black-legged ticks can also survive in winter, but the temperatures must be above the freezing point. They spread Lyme disease, which is manageable and treatable in its early stages using antibiotics. Unfortunately, misdiagnosis or mistreatment of Lyme disease can potentially lead to prolonged health complications.
Am I likely to find ticks in Texas?
Texas is an American state that still struggles with tick diseases like Stari, Lyme, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This means that there are still significant populations of different tick species that bite people. You are most likely to come across ticks in Texas during three seasons, including summer, spring, and fall months.
Generally, in the United States of America, the increase in the number of ticks and the related diseases has been sudden as the government, through its health departments, did not expect such a phenomenon. The good news is that scientists, in collaboration with medical practitioners, are conducting comprehensive studies on the diagnosis, vaccination, and treatment of these diseases.
As a Texas resident, it is essential to acquire adequate information about the common tick species, their prevention, and how you can treat a wound if a tick bites you.
How to prevent bites from Texas ticks
To effectively control the infestation of ticks in your home, you need to understand their cause and any other point of entry. The reason is that ticks don’t always have to gain access into your home through your body or your dog’s body. Here are some of the tips to control ticks infestation and tick-borne diseases.
Ensure that you regularly perform rodent and pest control procedures in and around your home’s compound. The reason is that some ticks are ultra-small, especially in their early developmental stages, and therefore love feeding on rodents where you can hardly see them. That said, if there is a rodent infestation in your Texas home, the chances are high that they are vectors of ticks.
- Get some chickens or other birds that eat ticks.
To avoid the transfer of potential tick diseases, it is essential that you immediately remove an attached tick on your body or your pet’s body you notice it. You can use appropriate tools such as a tick-removal kit or tweezers to pinch out the tick.
If there is a presence of bushes and shrubs around your compound, ensure you trim or completely get rid of them as they may be hosting ticks that are in a certain cycle of their life.
If you are a pet owner, you are at more risk of getting tick infestation in your home. For this reason, you need to limit your pet from accessing certain areas in your compound and subscribe to veterinarian tick control products to treat your pets regularly.
Avoid having bird feeders around your home as they are potential vectors of several ticks species in Texas.
Ensure that you appropriately secure your trash to reduce the chances of wildlife visiting your compound. Wildlife is also a potential vector of ticks and carriers of tick-borne diseases.
Do not assume that ticks cannot feed on your blood. Therefore, every time you finish your outdoor activities, it is essential to inspect your body for any signs of ticks.