What Do Ticks In Albany Look Like?◀ Back To Blog
August 19, 2016
With the increase in tick-borne illnesses here in Albany and across the country, it is important now more than ever to recognize these troublesome insects and avoid playing host to them. Tick-borne illnesses can be extremely serious. Lyme disease has received plenty of media attention due to its seriousness, but it is not the only disease that ticks carry and transmit to people. Other tick-borne illnesses include: Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis, and tularemia, along with other diseases that haven’t even been completely identified or named yet. Not all ticks carry these diseases, and not all bites will result in the transmission of disease, but the incidents are definitely on the rise. Considering all that, here are the ticks that you should get familiar with that could be encountered here in Albany:
The Brown Dog Tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineous) – This is the least worrisome of the ticks found here in Albany because it is not known to transmit diseases to humans. It can, however, cause distress and illness to your dog. Brown dog ticks are reddish-brown and around 1/8 of an inch in size. Their favorite source of blood comes from dogs, and a newly fed tick can grow to be about a ½ inch in length. A single female brown dog tick can lay up to 3,000 eggs at a time. This tick can invade homes by hitching a ride in on your pet and will easily survive and reproduce inside.
The American Dog Tick (Dermacentor variabilis) – This tick is not known to transmit Lyme disease, however, it can infect people with Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis. American dog ticks are a reddish-brown color with females having a large silver spot behind the head and males showing fine silver lines on their backs. Unfed, they measure around 3/16 inch but grow to around a ½ inch after feeding. The larvae and nymph stages will feed on small warm-blooded creatures such as mice, birds, and cats while the adults prefer to feed on dogs, raccoons, cattle, deer, or people.
The Lone Star Tick (amblyomma americanum) – This tick is a threat to humans because it can transmit dangerous diseases such as ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, tularemia, and on occasions, Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The Lone star tick is not known to carry Lyme disease, however, there is ongoing research regarding an unnamed disease similar to Lyme that these ticks do seem to transmit. This tick is brown and the females have a white spot in the middle of their back. Lone star ticks are very aggressive and will actively pursue a host. All stages of this tick will feed on just about any warm-blooded creature – including humans.
The Black-Legged Tick (lxodes scapularis) – This tick is also known as the deer tick and is famous for its ability to carry and transmit the very dangerous Lyme disease. It is also responsible for transmitting ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, and Anaplasmosis, all of which are serious diseases for people. This is a tear drop shaped small tick, generally less than 1/8 inch long. The tick itself is brown with a black dorsal shield, but it will turn a gray color after feeding. The larvae and nymph stages of the black-legged tick feed on small mammals and birds while the adults prefer the white-tailed deer or humans. It is important to note that all stages will attach to humans. The female black-legged tick requires a three-day meal in order to lay her eggs successfully. She can lay as many as 2,000 eggs at a time.
Now that you know what you are looking for, be sure to take preventative measures whenever you enjoy the great outdoors. According to the New York State Department of Health, this includes measures such as:
Wearing light-colored clothing to help you see ticks, closed-toed shoes, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants tucked into your socks.
Look for ticks every so often as you spend time outside, avoid sitting on rock walls or directly on the ground, bath or showering as soon as you return indoors, and use insect repellent containing DEET.
In the unfortunate event that tick removal is needed be sure to follow proper tick removal procedures and seek medical help when necessary.
Be ever vigilante to check yourself, your children, and your pets every evening for ticks.
For those of us that live in Albany and beyond, one of the best ways to reduce our chances of a tick encounter on our property and contracting the diseases that they carry is by partnering with the tick specialists here at Thomas Pest Services. We can help you to greatly reduce the number of ticks living and breeding on your property by identifying and eliminating breeding sites and the conditions that are drawing these insects to your yard in the first place. We will also treat areas of concern with a safe, all-natural, organic product, and continue to monitor and treat areas until your tick problem is resolved. Give us a call today and find out just how affordable tick treatments are when you partner with Thomas Pest Services.