August 23, 2018
In Maine, summer is the time of year when the weather is warm, sunny, and perfect for spending evenings and weekends outside enjoying nature with family and friends. However, if precautions aren’t taken, summer can also be the time of year when you, your family, and your pets could be put into harm’s way by blood-feeding, parasitic ticks. That’s right, unfortunately, just as Maine residents are most active during the summer season, so are the ticks! Ticks aren’t just an annoyance to deal with, they are a serious danger because of the harmful diseases they can transmit to people and pets. There are several species of ticks that can be found living in Maine, but today we are going to provide some helpful information about two very common species — the brown dog tick and the deer tick.
Brown dog ticks have oval-shaped bodies and are quite large compared to deer ticks. Before feeding they are a reddish-brown color and have flat bodies and after feeding, they turn a bluish-gray color and their body swell in size to about ½ of an inch. These ticks aren’t native to Maine but often travel to our state on the backs of visiting dogs because, as their name suggests, canines are their favorite food source. Brown dog ticks are unique in the world of ticks because, unlike most other species, they do not require damp soil for their eggs to develop in AND can complete their entire lifecycle indoors! Brown dog ticks are generally more dangerous for our pets than us, especially in Maine. While these ticks have been known to carry and transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever to people, this has been a rare occurrence at the time of this writing. However, these ticks do transmit canine ehrlichiosis and canine babesiosis to dogs which can make them very ill.
Deer ticks are a very small species of tick and are commonly referred to as blacklegged ticks due to the dark coloring of their legs. Before feeding, their bodies are an orangish-brown color; after having a blood meal, however, their bodies will swell in size and will turn a more rusty-brown color. Deer ticks are commonly found living outdoors in areas of tall grass, wooded areas, along the edges of trails, and in the vegetation found along ponds and lakes. These tiny pests lay in wait hidden in the thick vegetation until a host walks by and brushes up against them, allowing them to crawl onto them, attach themselves to an area of skin, and begin feeding on their blood. Deer ticks are particularly dangerous because of the wide variety of serious diseases that they have the carry and transmit including the very serious and potentially debilitating Lyme disease which is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. If left untreated, Lyme disease can cause serious health consequences for both people and pets.
The populations of both of these species of ticks are at their highest during the summer months because the warm, humid weather allows them to become much more active and begin biting hosts and feeding on their blood. In addition, the hosts that they are feeding on are also very active during this season, allowing ticks to travel to and invade many different properties. This leads us to explain why ticks are such a difficult pest to control and why trying to control them on your own will be ineffective. Ticks are a very difficult pest to treat because they are constantly being introduced onto properties by new hosts. This means that even if you are successful at getting rid of a few of the ticks on your property, there are more just waiting to be introduced. The best way to control the tick populations on your property is through seasonal treatments performed by trained and knowledgeable professionals.
At Pine State Pest Solutions, we can minimize tick numbers on your property through our effective tick control solutions. To control ticks, we will perform a thorough inspection followed by the treatment of the areas of your property that ticks they are most commonly live and breed in. This service is ongoing and usually runs from April through October. Utilizing our tick control solutions is an extremely effective way to control tick populations and your exposure to these disease-spreading pests. To learn more about our highly-effective and affordable tick control solutions, give us a call today!