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The threat of a tick landing on your four-legged friend is real in Arizona, and you may have experienced tick issues in the past - or perhaps you fear them attacking you and your pets. But how much do you really know about ticks in the Copper State? Get more details on them so you can stay alert and protect your family.
Western Exterminator can help you get rid of ticks if they have become a issue at your property. We know the threat of ticks and the health problems that can result from bites can be quite alarming. Simply call us at 800-937-8398 or contact us online to set up a time for one of our experts to come check out the issue.
The brown dog tick is the most common type of tick in Arizona. This species resides in warm places and mainly feeds on dogs, although it can also feed on people if many ticks are present. If you do not bring your dog to the vet regularly, it could encounter brown dog ticks.
Brown dog ticks are around ⅛ inch in length when they have not fed on blood, but they become about ½ inch in length after a blood meal. They are red-brown but become gray-blue once they have fed. Actually, adult brown dog ticks can live for up to two years with no blood meal. This species is capable of living out its whole life cycle inside.
When adult ticks have fed on a host, they can lay eggs in room corners. Larvae can live for as many as eight months and not feed. After feeding, the larvae leave the animal and hide in places like cracks. Dogs do not get brown dog ticks from other dogs.
What makes brown dog ticks scary is they can spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), which is transmitted from a tick bite. If you have contracted this disease, you may get fever, rash and headache, among other symptoms. RMSF may be fatal if you do not get proper treatment soon enough. See your physician if you experience any abnormal reaction after a tick bite.
Soft ticks in the genus Ornithodoros are also found in Arizona. These ticks typically feed for fewer than 30 minutes. They can transmit tick-borne relapsing fever (which is rare), but you could encounter this kind of tick if you stay in a cabin where rodents are present and the ticks feed on you. Tick-borne relapsing fever can result in fever, chills and muscle pain.
The creature commonly known as the deer tick or blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) is not found in Arizona. Western black-legged ticks (Ixodes pacificus) are located in Arizona but are not widespread.
Do not take any risks with ticks. Although they do not often feed on Arizona residents, you must remove one as soon as possible - this will lessen the chance that you become ill. It is a good idea to perform a thorough tick inspection on every member of the family – including pets. Check behind the ears and knees, around the hairline, between the toes, and in other nooks and crannies.
After washing hands, remove any ticks with a fine-tipped pair of tweezers. Get as close to the skin as you can, and pull the critter directly out with a steady hand. Do not squeeze the tick, because it could discharge substances into the body. Remember to apply soap and water to the place where the tick bite occurred. Follow a similar process when you remove a tick from your pet.
If you plan on testing them, place any found ticks in a baggie to be sent or taken to a lab. Don’t forget to inspect any gear and clothing for the creatures as well.
Inspections are essential to the prevention of ticks in the home. Adult brown dog ticks commonly affix between dog toes and on ears, whereas larvae and nymphs commonly affix to the dog’s back. Consult with your vet about how to best guard your pet from ticks and discuss with him or her about how the dog should be treated if it has ticks.
Also, treatment should be applied to places where the dog goes - bedding, for instance. If ticks make their way into the home undetected, certain varieties will reproduce and spread. If you think you may have a tick infestation, reach out to Western Exterminator. We provide effective pest and tick control to homes and businesses, so contact us for a free inspection.
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