The Truth About Ticks

Author: Mosquito Squad of Waukesha County & Milwaukee North Shore
Ticks feed on the blood of their host...whether that be a human, bird, reptile, wild, or domestic animal. There are about 850 tick species capable of spreading diseases such as Lyme, Erlichia, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Once a tick attaches, if undisturbed, adult females can remain feeding 7-10 days. If a tick does not attach but is brought in the house, it typically will die within 24 hours. However, if ticks are on moist clothing in a hamper, they can survive a few days. There is little chance of ticks infesting a home, however, the brown dog tick is a species that lays their eggs (seed ticks) indoors which can crawl and infest small house pets. Although the climate is shifting, ticks are still active. It is important as you come in from the outdoors to do a thorough tick check.
  • Thoroughly inspect your clothing- can always put into a hot dryer for about 15 minutes
  • Inspect every part of your body- ticks can be as small as a poppy seed. Ticks love warm dark places, so be sure to check behind the ears, knees, elbows, armpits, and hair.
  • Take a shower
  • Don't forget your pets!

Different types of ticks.

In case you do find a tick, don't panic. Usually a tick must be attached for at least 24 hours before Lyme disease is transmitted. There is a lot of information out there on home remedy removal. Some of these methods could cause more harm.... for example, using peppermint oil, nail polish, or petroleum jelly. When a tick is smothered, it can become agitated and its natural response is to spew out of its mouth. This reaction can increase your risk of being infected if it is carrying any disease. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention continues to provide updated information to prevent bites, remove ticks, check symptoms, and updated news and information regularly. Mosquito Squad suggests following a proper tick removal procedure for your safety.
  • Use pointy nose tweezers
  • Grab tick by the head as close to the skin
  • Pull straight out to avoid breaking off any mouth parts

There are different ideas on disposal (one is toilet). We, however, suggest putting it into a sealed container or freezer bag and label it with date. Store in freezer (I know, it is gross, right). We only suggest this because if there are any issues, it's far less invasive, painful, and less expensive to bring the tick in than have blood draws. Tick-borne diseases are an ever growing concern. Ticks have been found in 48 of the states. Permethrin is a product that will repel ticks. Mosquito Squad offers many solutions to help prevent ticks from invading your property. We offer our Standard Barrier Treatment. We also offer additional coverage utilizing Tick Tubes. Mosquito Squad are leading experts in the industry. Call our staff today and find out which customized treatment plan would work best to protect your family and pets.

Further Reading:

You Found a Tick - Now What?

A New Tick Identified in the United States

Are You Tick Sick?