The lone star ticks, so nicknamed from the single silvery-white spot that is on the back of females. More than any other tick species in the southeastern and eastern states, these ticks attack people more frequently. Lone star ticks can transmit diseases and frequently leave behind a circular rash. Removing the lone star tick should be done as quickly as possible. To transmit ehrlichiosis, a tick only needs to be attached for 24 to 50 hours. Today, we at A-Tex Pest Management would like to share some basic information regarding lone star ticks.
Lone Star Tick Identification
Lone star ticks, along with females having the whitish marking on their back, are reddish-brown and will look a slate gray color when engorged. As larvae, they only have six legs, but belonging to the arachnid family, have eight legs by adulthood. Their bodies are oval-shaped and flattened. Females average about ¼ inch long and ½ inch when engorged and the males are considerably smaller.
Lone Star Tick Location
Signs of lone star tick infestation are finding them inside. Being that they cannot survive inside, it was likely carried in by you or a pet where they dropped after being fully engorged. use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp it as close to the skin’s surface as possible in the event you find them attached to you or your pet. Avoid twisting or jerking the tick as this can cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin and with even pressure pull upward steadily. Either flush the tick down the toilet or wrap it tightly in a tissue before disposing of in a closed receptacle. Be sure to wash the bite area with soap and warm water. Call a doctor if you develop any pains, fevers, headaches, or rashes.
Lone Star Tick Life Cycle
Requiring a different host with each stage, lone star ticks are a three-host tick. Waiting for a host to pass by and brush the vegetation, they initially contact the host by crawling up on the tips of the low-growing vegetation. This behavior is almost entirely dependent on larvae and when nymphs or adults will drop to the ground, find the host, and climb onto from the warmth and carbon dioxide stimulation. Typically found in shaded areas, lone star ticks cannot survive long exposure to the sun. Though the adults require larger animal hosts, the habitat must also contain both small animal hosts for larvae. For egg hatch and larval survival until host attachment, 65% or greater humidity levels are required. The woods to lawn or meadow transitional zone is a favorite habitat for lone star ticks. As larvae, the small host animals commonly include gray fox, striped skunk, raccoon, cottontail rabbit, cotton rat, gray squirrel, cat, and ground-nesting birds. By the nymph stage, many of these animals are often the host animal in addition to larger animals’ adults will host including wild turkey, cats, cattle, white-tailed deer, foxes, dogs, and people; humans being an ideal host for all three stages.
What Diseases Does the Lone Star Tick Carry?
Biting people can transmit known diseases as ticks are vectors for tularemia, Heartland virus, Bourbon virus and Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI) for example. Because their long mouthparts make removal challenging, great care needs to be applied, otherwise, you can develop a secondary infection.
Tick Pest Inspections, Control & More in Round Rock, Leander, Pflugerville, Cedar Park & Austin Texas
Avoiding lone star ticks can be tricky. According to experts, wearing tick repellent and long-sleeved clothes; be sure to avoid lounging too long on or against stumps, logs, or bushy areas and after being in such areas, be sure to inspect your body and pets; if any are found, immediately remove them. Keeping the grass cut short and the vegetation trimmed back, especially along the trails, paths, and yard edges can reduce their preferred habitat. Professional pest control can not only offer preventative protection from tick outbreaks but if you or your pet brings them on your property, A-Tex Pest Management can ensure they are effectively eliminated. Call us today if you notice ticks.