Beware of Tick Bites and the Diseases They Can Cause

Ticks | Iowa's Growing Pest Problem

July 19, 2017

Ticks in Iowa

You can find over a dozen different species of ticks in Iowa, but the three most common are, the Deer tick or Blacklegged tick , the American Dog tick or Wood tick and the Lone Star tick. These pests are found most often in the northeastern and eastern side of the state.

Diseases Caused by Tick Bites

Most Iowans are on the lookout for the blacklegged tick, because this tends to be the type of tick that carries Lyme disease. According to the Des Moines Register and the The Iowa Department of Public Health says the number of cases reported of Lyme disease caused by tick bites is on the rise. The boost in cases could be linked to the number of tick bites, or it could be due to the increase in awareness and knowledge of symptoms in recent years.

The first sign of Lyme disease is a rash that will appear around the tick bite. It is common for the rash to look similar to a bulls-eye with a red circle and ring around the bite from the infection. If you think you have a disease caused by tick bites, contact a doctor. Most physicians prescribe antibiotics to tackle the symptoms of Lyme disease from a tick. Without treatment, you will notice severe symptoms such as fatigue, fever, headaches and stiffness in the neck.

How to Get Rid of Ticks

It is essential that you take extreme care when removing a tick. With tweezers, gently squeeze the pest as close to the tip of the head as possible and carefully pull the tick away from the victim. Be cautious when getting rid of the tick, if it is crushed, or their mouth is left behind in the process, it could cause further infection to the host. Once the critter is removed, be sure to clean and disinfect the area of the bite.

Signs of a Tick Infestation

Ticks are not easily spotted in the home, and you will often not know about the problem until you experience a bite. However, there are many things you can do to prevent the infestation and get rid of ticks in your home.

First, if you're a pet-owner, check your furry friends for ticks. Pets tend to be a preferred host for these pests, and can easily transport these critters inside. Providing pets with an adequate place to stay outside is recommended, however, if your pet is allowed to wander outside and around the house, make sure they are regularly treated. Without the proper anti-tick products and a routine cleaning, your pets could be a danger to your home.

Another solution for preventing ticks from entering your home is performing a quick check around the foundation to make sure all cracks and crevices are filled in. Also, remove any empty bird or rodent nests you find, these are a great location for ticks to inhabit and multiply. If these pests do make it inside your house, get rid of them by vacuuming carpets and washing anything that's washable in hot water, then giving it a long cycle in the dryer. The extreme heat will take care of eliminating the ticks.

More Tick Facts

  • There are about 850 different species of ticks. Some of these are capable of spreading infections such as Lyme disease, Ehrlichia and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
  • Ticks are not insects, they are arachnids. This means they are more closely related to spiders, scorpions and mites.
  • Ticks prefer to feed for long periods of time. They can remain attached to a host and feed for days if gone unnoticed. Removing these pests immediately is crucial, because it typically takes 24-48 hours of feeding to transmit the Lyme disease infection.
  • These vampire-like critters need blood to survive. Blacklegged ticks typically feast on the blood of deer, but will also latch onto mice, birds and humans.
  • They love your pets too! Some species of ticks, like the American dog tick, prefer the blood of dogs. If you're a pet owner, it's important to regularly check and treat your dogs for ticks.

Struggling With Ticks? Preferred Pest Can Help!

Have you noticed a tick bite on you or your pets? Take action and get rid of ticks in your home immediately. Our team of pest technicians is here to help. Don't wait until you have a serious infestation in your home - give us a call today at (515) 276-7277 or schedule an appointment online.

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