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Facts about ticks infestation

Ticks are one of the most common household pests that require constant inspection. If you own a dog, it’s more likely for ticks to be present.

If you have encountered them at least once in your life, you probably know a good number of facts about this pest: they are blood-suckers, they feed on mammals - humans included - and in some cases, they carry the Lyme Disease.

Did you know? Ticks also belong to the same predatory family of insects as spiders?

The truth is there is more to ticks than being merely a household pest. In this article, we delve deeper into the facts you should know about ticks along with some tips on how to get rid of them.

Ticks are arachnids and are attracted to warmth and carbon dioxide

As mentioned, ticks are technically not insects but arachnids, which make them more related to spiders than they are to mosquitoes and flies. They even bare resemblance to spiders, having eight legs and lacking antennae.

Additionally, ticks are red, brown or black in colour and only 3 to 5 mm in length. They tend to hide better in cluttered homes and are usually transported home when humans or their pets walk past grassy areas, trees or gardens, allowing the ticks the chance to latch onto them.

Ticks latch onto humans and pets to feed on their blood

Ticks survive by feeding on the blood of warm-blooded creatures like mammals, birds and humans.

Although they can’t fly or jump, ticks have clever methods they use to feed on blood. They detect a host by smelling the carbon dioxide they exhale into the air. When a host passes by - they simply climb and latch onto them. This process is called questing.

What to do if you think your pet has fleas? Read here to find out more.

Ticks are discreet and good at hiding

Because ticks are diminutive, it’s difficult to spot them at a glance. It also doesn’t help that they’re naturally stealthy. They hide well in clutters and can be left unchecked with lack of visual inspection.

In fact, it’s possible for ticks to cling onto you without you noticing and it can be dangerous as they feed on your blood. Therefore, here are some common hiding areas that you may not be aware of:

  • Cracks and crevices in the home
  • Behind baseboards and furniture
  • Localised area where your pets usually rest in
  • Grass patches, shrubs and garden area

Other signs of ticks infestation

  • Presence of adult ticks on your dogs or on your body such as in the groin, armpit, upper arms, buttocks, knee and head or any surfaces of your home such as rugs, carpets or bedding. Signs to look out for: bites and rash on the body, presence of droppings and discomfort of your dog (feeling lethargic, feverish or frequent licking at certain areas)
  • Spreading of Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis in the household. Symptoms for such diseases will be fever, headache, body chills, body aches and rashes.

Ticks are outdoor driven

Ticks are cross-infestation pests that are typically brought in by pets so one step to get rid of ticks is to keep your pets clean and healthy and also to maintain cleanliness in your home. Since ticks usually reside in pet beddings, carpets and rugs, it is best to keep these household items clean and sanitary.

However, you should know that internal housekeeping is only one of the many ways to stay away from ticks. The most effective way would be to address the root problem. Here are some ways to do so:

  • Treat areas where ticks can breed to kill any eggs or larva that may exist in your home. You can hire a pest control service provider to do the job safely and effectively.
  • Vacuum the place to remove ticks that are not latched onto a host. Remember to dispose of the vacuum bags immediately after use.
  • Remove moisture in hidden areas of the home.
  • Check your laundry for signs of ticks and wash your dirty clothes in warm water as your laundry can also be an ideal nesting target.
  • If you have pets, shower them on a regular basis and make sure that you are free of ticks by brushing their coat periodically.
  • Treat outdoor landscape, as it is a hot spot for ticks.

Take proactive steps

Ticks can be harmful not only to your pets but to your family as well. Take proactive steps to prevent tick infestation from happening in your home. For ticks infestation expert advice on pest control, call Rentokil at (65) 6347 8138

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