Although other states are more well known for having ticks, ticks are active year-round in Florida because of the tropical climate. There are several species of ticks that are native to Florida, as well as ticks that travel to Florida from other places. Florida is also home to the Black-legged tick, known for spreading Lyme disease, which is a reason for serious concern. Because ticks pose a constant danger to people’s health and wellbeing in Florida, it is important to know more about them. When it comes to types of ticks, Florida has quite a few.
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What Are Ticks
Ticks are small blood-eating parasites that are related to the spider and mite families. Even the largest ticks are usually no larger than an apple seed, which makes them hard to find. They are known carriers and transmitters of disease including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Ticks live in grassy and wooded areas and travel by crawling onto people, animals, and reptiles.
Ticks Native To Florida
There are several ticks that are native to Florida that are active at different times of the year:
- Blacklegged Tick
- Lone Star Tick
- American Dog Tick
- Gulf Coast Tick
- Argasid Tick
Ticks That Travel To Florida
Some ticks migrate to Florida from other places, such as the Caribbean. Here are a few:
- Bont Ticks
- Mblyomma chabaudi rageau – an exotic tick that was introduced to Florida via imported tortoises
Ticks Spread Disease
Ticks are known to spread disease, which is why it is so important to check yourself for ticks and to know how to handle a tick bite. Here are a few illnesses that they are associated with:
- Babesiosis (malaria-like disease)
- Lyme Disease
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
- Dermatophilosis (skin infection)
- African tick-bite fever
- Heartland virus
Symptoms Of A Tick Bite
There are several telltale tick bite symptoms, including:
- A rash that looks like a bullseye
- A small, flat pink rash
- An ulcer at the site of the bite
- Full body rash
- Fever and chills
- Muscle and joint aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
Some allergic and less common reactions to tick bites include:
- Respiratory issues
- Painful or swollen bites
- Flu-like symptoms
Treating Tick Bites
Tick bite treatments may include antibiotic medication, but the most important step is to remove the entire tick from your skin. If you have been bitten by a tick, remove the tick right away. To do this, you’ll need a pair of tweezers – slowly pull the tick out by gently grasping it as close to the skin as possible. Make sure to wash your hands and disinfect the site of the bite with alcohol, warm water, and soap.
If you were able to remove the tick, take a picture before disposing of it so that you can identify the species and check with your doctor or healthcare provider about any risks associated with that particular kind of tick. If symptoms such as swelling or an itchy rash persist after safely removing the tick, you may wish to make an appointment with your doctor. Some tick bites require antibiotics, so if you feel concerned, don’t hesitate to get it checked out.
Seasons Of The Tick
Ticks are active year-round in Florida but are most active in the Spring and Summer months. Although ticks thrive in warm, humid weather, they are still active in colder temperatures as low as 45°F. For Floridians, this means that it’s important to have year-round checks for ticks after spending time outdoors. Because ticks feed on the blood of mammals and reptiles, increased animal activity on your property means more ticks, which is another reason why having a professional pest control service is so important.
How We Can Help You
As Florida pest control specialists, we have years of experience minimizing the threat of tick-transmitted disease by reducing the number of pests on your property. Although ticks live outdoors, ticks will travel by attaching themselves to other common pests. Certain ticks can live indoors, which is another reason why having a pest control professional who knows how to handle these bugs is invaluable. If you are concerned about tick season in Florida or are noticing signs of increased pest activity on your property, contact us today.