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The Different Types of Ticks in Florida

a tick on a leaf
Ticks are a common pest in Florida, especially during the warm summer months. There are several varieties of these unwanted visitors. Some types of ticks thrive in Florida more than others, and it’s important to know the differences so you can get rid of an infestation right away.
Certain types of ticks, like American dog ticks, prefer to feed off of animals, while others love humans. Some only survive outdoors while others thrive inside your home. Knowing the appearance and habits of ticks will help you identify them before you have a full-blown infestation.
There are several precautions you can take to avoid ticks, like wearing appropriate clothing and patching up cracks in your doors. When you see ticks on your property, in your home or on your pets, you need to remove them immediately, especially because most homeowners don’t know how long ticks can live in a house.
Most ticks carry harmful diseases, so homeowners need to be proactive and call a pest control specialist as soon as they notice a problem.
a brown dog tick

Brown Dog Ticks

If you’ve noticed your dog has been scratching herself more lately, it might be because brown dog ticks are biting them. These types of ticks feed on domestic dogs, so you might see some around your dog’s kennel and other areas she uses. This variety of ticks is a reddish brown color, and they only bite humans on rare occasions when they can’t find a dog.
If you see brown dog ticks on your furry friend, remove them immediately with tweezers and then wash the bite spot on your dog. You can also use a tick treatment on your dog’s fur. Call your vet immediately if you notice any symptoms of a tick-borne illness, like poor appetite, fever, joint pain and swollen lymph nodes. If you notice an infestation around your dog’s kennel or inside your house, call a pest control expert to help.
a lone star tick

Lone Star Ticks

Even though these ticks are named for the Lone Star State, Texas, Lone Star ticks are extremely common in Florida. Like other ticks, they are a reddish brown color; however, you can easily spot the females because they have white spots on their backs. Lone Star ticks carry dangerous diseases, so you must treat any infestation immediately.
These ticks peak in Florida in July, but you can spot the adults anytime between April and August.
a black legged tick

Black-legged Ticks

As their name suggests, you can spot black-legged ticks by identifying their dark-colored legs. These ticks carry Lyme disease, so it’s important to be proactive if you see an infestation. They mostly live in forests and grasslands.
Black-legged ticks are also known as deer ticks because they attach to white-tailed deer as their reproductive host. Their peak season is from September through May.
an american dog tick

American Dog Ticks

American dog ticks are another type of tick in Florida that primarily feed off of dogs; however, they also like other animals, such as rodents. The adults will also attach to humans. While brown dog ticks often make their way inside your house, American dog ticks are primarily outdoor pests.
March through September is the peak season for this type of tick, and you must treat an infestation right away because they carry several diseases, such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Dogs and children can experience temporary paralysis when American dog ticks attach to their spinal column or skull. Call a pest control specialist if you see these ticks on your property.
a gulf coast tick

Gulf Coast Ticks

As you can tell from their name, Gulf Coast ticks thrive in southeastern states like Florida. They look like American dog ticks, but they have larger mouths. Gulf Coast ticks carry less severe forms of the same diseases. Gulf Coast ticks prefer to feed on wildlife and cattle, but they will attach to humans when given the opportunity.
You can identify the female Gulf Coast ticks by the silver markings at the top of their body. The peak season for adults is between March and September.
a tick on a person's skin

Do Ticks Live in Carpet?

Most types of ticks in Florida do not survive indoors. If they do make it inside your home, most tick varieties will die after a day or two. So, if you find a long-lasting tick infestation in your house, they are American dog ticks. If you have an indoor dog or cat they can feed on, these types of ticks will thrive for a long time inside your home.
For these ticks, your carpet can provide a safe place for them to lay their eggs. They may also use other areas of your home, like your dog’s bedding or your couch cushions, as a hiding place in the same way they would use tall grasslands if they were outside.

How to Remove Ticks from Carpet

To remove ticks from your carpet, start by vacuuming or steam cleaning the infested areas. Ticks also like to hide out in dark crevices, so make sure you inspect your baseboards for any holes. Seal up cracks in your windows and doors so that ticks don’t have as many entry points into your home.
An indoor infestation can cause your house pets to suffer. Make sure you thoroughly comb through their fur to remove the ticks and then give them a bath with a tick treatment shampoo. You should also wash their bedding with high heat to kill any eggs that are hiding there.
If you suspect that they’ve made their way to your couch or beds, wash those linens as well. While American dog ticks do not usually feed on humans, it’s a good idea to wash your clothes on high heat to kill off any unwanted possibilities.
Another way to identify an indoor tick infestation is if someone in your household comes down with a tick-borne disease. Headaches, rashes, fevers, chills and aches are common symptoms. Call your doctor immediately if anyone in your home experiences a tick-related illness.
There are some other home remedies you can try to remove American dog ticks, such as pouring salt on the eggs. However, the best thing to do is to call a pest control specialist to get rid of the infestation for good.
a hiker in leggings

Can Ticks Bite Through Leggings?

A summer hike through the forest can quickly turn into a free ride for ticks. That’s why it’s so important to wear the right clothing to minimize their chances of using you as a host. Fortunately, ticks cannot bite through leggings or socks.

Since ticks prefer exposed skin, you’re more likely to get bitten if you wear shorts or a short sleeve shirt. Tick bites are especially common when you garden or do yard work. Make sure you wear appropriate gardening clothes that cover exposed skin.

Full-length leggings and socks are a great clothing choice to deter ticks. Since ticks are most active in the summertime, try finding moisture-wicking clothing to stay covered and avoid overheating in Florida’s warm climate.

Wear sturdy shoes and socks anytime you are outdoors this summer. These unfriendly pests do not need that much exposed skin to latch onto, so make sure your ankles are completely covered.

Ticks tend to cling to feet, ankles and legs since they are easy to reach from the ground. However, once they are on your body, they can also make their way to your groin, underarms, inside your ears and into your hair. They bury their head in your skin to feed off of your blood, so it’s crucial to remove them right away to avoid disease.

Apply insect repellent to keep the ticks and other pests away before any outdoor adventure in Florida. When you get home, shower and inspect your body for ticks, especially if you were in bushy wooded areas. Don’t forget to inspect your kids and furry friends, too.

Kick Ticks Out of Your Home and Off Your Property

No matter what type of tick in Florida you encounter, it’s important to stay as far away from them as you can to avoid disease. During the summer months, take extra precautions to avoid ticks bites, and regularly inspect yourself, your family members and your pets. Wear appropriate clothing and use insect repellants to protect yourself so that you can still enjoy outdoor activities without worrying about ticks hitching a free ride on your body.

If you spot ticks on your property or inside your home, call a pest control specialist right away. They will identify and eradicate the problem for good, as well as give you tips on avoiding an infestation in the future. You can also help eliminate the problem on your own by thoroughly cleaning all tick-infested areas in your home and patching up any holes.

Ticks don’t have to stop you from enjoying the summer months in Florida as long as you educate yourself and take precautions.

ABC Can Give You Peace of Mind

Finding even a single tick on your property can be alarming. For peace of mind when it comes to ticks, contact ABC Home & Commercial Services. Our pest control professionals will create a custom pest treatment plan, so you can feel at ease.

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