Florida is home to a tick known as the brown dog tick, and if you have pets, you could potentially have an infestation inside or outside your home.
This little bloodsucker prefers your dog’s tasty blood, and thrives in areas that make your home, inside and out, an ideal habitat for a tick infestation.
Although Florida is home to several species of ticks, the Brown Dog Tick is the only one that will readily infest homes. This species does poorly outdoors. They are accustomed to dry, warm conditions where the dog lives, such as a dog house, barn or even one’s home.
Why do they bite? Similar to the life stage of female mosquitoes, ticks feed on blood. Adult females require a blood meal to develop their eggs. Once a female tick is engorged with blood, she will drop off the host and stay in close proximity, usually in the area where the pet rests.
At that time, she will lay a mass of eggs reaching well up to 3,000 eggs or more. The eggs are deposited high on the walls of the structure in cracks and crevices around the ceiling or roof, depending on the type of construction. In homes, the eggs are often found near wall hangings and the ceiling. The female dies shortly after egg laying. The eggs hatch in 20 to 60 days depending on the conditions.
How will you know if you have a tick infestation?
Unlike flea and mosquito bites, we do not feel ticks biting us. The only way that you can determine if you have a tick infestation in Florida is by finding them. You might find them crawling, also called questing, or attached to your pet or family member. The brown dog tick can also dwell in barns, where they are apt to feed on farm dogs, livestock, or rodents. Unlike fleas, ticks do not jump, nor do they fly like mosquitoes. Therefore, it takes vigilance to ensure that you do not incur a dog tick infestation.
Ticks are not a typical pest concern for many Florida residents, but Jacksonville tick control is still important.
A lesson learned here in greater Jacksonville is that mosquito, flea, and tick control are all essential to health and well-being in Florida. With weather patterns that are favorable for these pests to dwell in and reproduce, our dense vegetation and warm, moist outdoor areas serve as a perfect environment for them.
Because Florida ticks are plentiful, we recommend year-round Jacksonville tick control. We need tick control here to prevent the spread of diseases such as Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and other spotted fever illnesses.
It is critically important in this regard as symptoms of these Jacksonville tick-borne diseases usually start within two weeks of being bitten. Feeling the impact of those bites is not an immediate effect. Although there are disease-specific symptoms such as the bull’s eye rash sometimes seen in cases of Lyme Disease, the most common symptoms for tick-borne disease are fever, headache, and muscle pain.
As these symptoms may also be seen with many other types of illnesses, if you feel ill after recently being in an area that is wooded or has long grass, it is always important to tell your health care provider. Mention that you are concerned because you were quite possibly in a tick habitat.