Blacklegged ticks (once known as deer ticks) are the type of ticks that can carry the very dangerous Lyme disease virus and they now are found in all 50 states.
The ticks are found in wooded or brushy areas – and this includes areas around your home. They can alight on – and bite — humans as well as pets, so it’s critical to perform a “tick check” on pets and family members after walking in the brush.
This is absolutely critical because ticks can breed quickly and…infest your home!
How quickly can ticks breed? A better question to ask is “how many eggs does a female tick lay?” The answer is between 2,000 to 18,000!
Finding ticks and tick eggs can be very difficult, as their eggs are miniscule and they can lay their eggs in just about any part of your home, particularly cracks in floorboards, walls, etc.
So it’s imperative that you know the signs of a tick infestation in your home. Unfortunately, that sign is when you see a large number of ticks found on yourself, your family members and/or your pets. Ticks need to suck the blood of mammals to survive, so they will attach themselves to the mammals in your home.
They are fast moving creatures and so it may be hard to see them when they first jump on you. They tend to enjoy warm, moist areas, so you’ll more than likely find them under your arms, in your groin area, under women’s breasts, in a scalp.
Unfortunately, you won’t feel a twinge when a tick latches on to you: their bites are painless.
Because Lyme disease can be so debilitating – with its affects lasting for months or even years – it’s important that you get yourself to a doctor if you suspect you’ve been bitten. The good news is that it can take several hours for the Lyme disease virus to infect your body, so if you remove the tick relatively quickly after it attaches to you, you could well be OK. Still, it’s important to get checked by a physician. (If possible, take the dead tick with you to the doctor’s office).
Ticks that haven’t attached themselves to humans or pets can be easily vacuumed up. Once you vacuum the ticks, always remove the vacuum bag, seal it and discard it outside your home immediately. Check yourself and your clothing for ticks to make sure none jumped on you.
You can also spray or sprinkle insecticides in your home to kill ticks.
Killing ticks in your home is much more problematic than keeping them out of your home in the first place. Always check for ticks on people and pets whenever you’ve walked on grass, through bushes, on trails, etc.