There are only two types of ticks (hard and soft) with four prevalent species in the greater Houston area, but these little creatures can cause debilitating diseases that can disrupt our lives in a big way. These four dangers include: the Lone Star Tick, Black Legged Deer Tick, American Dog Tick and the Brown Dog Tick. Although they are all very similar in size and shape‐with only minor differences‐they transmit very different illnesses.

The Lone Star Tick, which carries Ehrlichiosis (anaplasmosis), STAR, and tularemia, can cause symptoms within 2‐14 days. Symptoms include: headache, muscle ache, fatigue, mild fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea and, at times, a rash.

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The Black Legged Deer Tick can transmit Lyme disease which can be represented by the infamous ‘bullseye’ (which is not always present) along with fever, eye inflammation, joint pain, flu‐like symptoms, and fatigue.

The American Dog Tick can transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or tularemia giving such symptoms as: sudden onset of fever, headache, rash, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, muscle pain, red eyes, and loss of appetite. Relapsing Fever is another disease in Texas attributed to these small parasites.

Knowing this, you can understand why it is important to identify and eliminate these potentially life‐ altering menaces. Generally, ticks are brown, red‐brown or black in color. They are flat bodied with a broad, oval shaped body and are approximately 1/8” – 1/2” in size. When embedded they swell in size and appear gray or blue in color – similar to a bubblish mole.

To reduce your risk of hosting these ungrateful, dangerous renters of space on you or your pets, there are a few simple steps you can take. Understand though, that avoiding them is the best way to prevent the diseases they carry.

First of all, these vampirish terrors love moist, humid environments and prefer to frequent wooded or grassy areas while waiting to feast on your blood supply free of charge. Be sure to keep grass cut short and remove debris from your yard. Also, it is helpful to create a wood chip or gravel barrier between your yard and any wooded areas.

Secondly, you should always wear an insect repellent containing at least 20% DEET. Permethrin can also be helpful when sprayed on clothing, tents, shoes etc. and can even withstand several washings before needing to be re‐applied.

You should always check you, your pets, and your children for ticks when coming inside after gardening, camping, leisurely strolls or any other outdoor activity. Be sure to check under arms, hairline, in and around ears, in belly button, waistline, back of knees and between your legs. These are very common feeding grounds. Also, a shower as soon as coming indoors is most helpful to wash off any unattached ticks.

Even after following all of these precautionary measures, it is nearly impossible to eliminate ticks without the help of an expert. Here at Holders Pest Solutions, we have been servicing the Houston/Galveston area with friendly, local service for over 70 years.

Our residential treatment program can help eliminate these infested parasites from your environment. With our expertise and treatment you can rest assured that your risks of encountering ticks has been greatly reduced. Contact us today to start fighting against ticks.