tick-1271763_1280When temperatures are above freezing at night – which is most of the time in Florida – it is considered tick season. These blood-sucking arachnids can be as tiny as the head of a pin, which makes them nearly impossible to detect until they bite. The Brevard County pest control team at Apex Pest Control presents a short tutorial on ticks, and how to protect yourself during tick season.

Ticks are parasites that attach themselves to their host and feed on their blood. A tick reaches adulthood in about three years, going through four life stages. Each stage requires a host, and hosts can range from birds and amphibians to mammals. When a tick reaches its next life stage, it generally detaches from its host before it transforms, then finds a new host. Ticks generally find human hosts during their last two stages: nymph and adult.

Attaching to a new host may take anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the type of tick and stage of life cycle. During this time, the tick grasps the skin and cuts away the outer surface, inserting a proboscis that sucks up blood and may send out a small amount of saliva that acts as an anesthetic to keep the host from realizing it has been bitten. When a tick attaches itself to the second host, any pathogens from the previous host are transmitted.

Ticks like to attach at the bends of your body: elbows, the back of your knees, or armpits as well as any place where fabric is tight against the body, such as athletic sock ribbing or waistbands. If you are able to shower immediately after hiking through the woods or when you see a tick on you, chances are you can wash away any other ticks.

Because ticks carry a host of diseases – Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and a tremendous amount of viral, bacterial, and pathogenic disorders – it is important to protect yourself.

The risk of human tick infection is greatest in late spring and summer. If you have noticed ticks in the area you plan to be near, wear tall socks with pants tucked inside the socks, or use heavy-duty tape to tape your pants around your ankles. Ticks are attracted to lighter colors; wearing dark colors in areas known to harbor ticks may keep them away.

If you find a particular area of your property is prone to harbor ticks, call Apex Pest Control at 866-675-4070. The Brevard County pest control team at Apex will spray your property to eliminate the threat of a tick population. Please browse our website, which has information pertaining to how you can protect your family and property from a host of different pests, including insects, arachnids, and small mammals.