Ticks are a common blood-sucking pest. They're often found in grassy areas, but they can be carried into your home by family pets. Aside from being disgusting, these arthropods pose several health risks due to carrying a variety of diseases. Whether you've been out hiking or suspect a tick may have ridden indoors on your dog or cat, it's important to know how to recognize the signs of a tick bite.
Symptoms of a Tick Bite
Ticks secrete a substance that acts as a natural analgesic, allowing them to latch onto a host and feed on its blood for days. This means that you may not feel a tick bite or even know that you have a tick on you. This is why it's important to physically check yourself, your pets and your family members for ticks any time you suspect that you might have come into contact with one.
Some people are allergic to tick bites, which can result in swelling, itching, a rash or even difficulty breathing. Additionally, tick-borne illnesses often come with symptoms like rash, headache, weakness, fever, joint pain and aches. Nevertheless, the best way to know whether symptoms are caused by a tick or something else is finding the tick itself.
How to Check Yourself for Ticks
Ticks are attracted to warm, moist and well-protected areas of the body. Places like the groin and armpit should be your first stop when searching for a tick. The scalp is another likely location for ticks.
When searching for ticks, the easiest tool to use may be your fingers. Search the area for any unusual bumps, then get a closer visual look to confirm that you've found a tick. Depending on their species, ticks may be black, brown or flesh-colored. Those that have been feeding for a long time might be grayish in color instead. They might vary in size from the size of a pinhead to the size of a pencil eraser.
If you find a tick, the easiest way to remove it is with tweezers. Grasp the tick firmly as close to the skin as you can, and pull upward with steady even pressure. Beware of pulling off the body and leaving the head attached; that can result in itching and discomfort. If you find more than one tick or don't feel comfortable removing the tick yourself, it might be time to consider going to the doctor for professional removal.
If you suspect that your home has a tick problem, it's time to take action. Contact Venice Pest Control for help in eliminating these and other potentially harmful pests around your home.