Ticks are a common nuisance in Indiana and can lead to some problems if you are bitten. Ticks are normally thought of as insects but are actually an arachnid. There are two types of ticks; soft ticks, which normally are attracted to bats and hard ticks, which attack vertebrate mammals. All ticks go through a similar life cycle. The female lays eggs on the ground and the larva will live on the ground. Larva only have 6 legs and as they mature to a nymph they will get their next last set of legs – qualifying them as an arachnid. The larva and nymphs usually live on the ground and will attack small mammals. Adults will wave their front legs in an attempt to attach to a larger host in a process called questing.
Types of Ticks in Indiana
American Dog Tick is the largest of the ticks in Indiana. It is reddish brown and has gray and silver markings on their backs. They can also transmit Rocky Mountain Fever and Tularemia. Rocky Mountain Fever has many symptoms; fever, headache, rash, vomiting, muscle pain and loss of appetite. Tularemia is a disease that can produce ulcers at the site of the tick bite and produce very high fevers. Nothing anyone want to mess with!
Lonestar Tick is tannish red. Females are larger than the males and have a noticeable light color dot on its back. Males are smaller with light colored markings on their backs. They can cause Rocky Mountain Fever and Ehrlichiosis,a disease that can have the symptoms of fever, body aches and rash. The bite of these ticks can also make the host have an allergy to red meat!
Black Legged/Deer Tick are brown or black and are very very small. Both the nymph and the adult can spread Lyme disease and Babesiosis. Lyme disease if left untreated can cause inflammation of the brain. Symptoms of both Lyme and Babesiosis are fevers, chills, muscle and joint pain.
What to do if you have an infestation?
The first thing to do is wear the correct clothing when outside and wearing bug spray is essential. You should also put tick preventative on your animals. Ticks can be very harmful to animals and can cause “tick paralysis” if they bite close to the spine.
If that does not help with your infestation then the next thing to do is call a professional. A spray of your lawn and trees with an insecticide labeled for extermination of ticks and a growth regulator. The growth regulator will prevent the ticks from reproducing.
Our spring/summer/fall power spray program will greatly reduce the amount of unwanted pest in your yard and around your house so you can spend your time enjoying the outdoors!