Protecting Yourself From Ticks While Out & About In Springfield

Deer Tick crawling on someone's skin.

As we look forward to warmer weather, it’s easy to get excited about all the wonderful outdoor activities available to us in New England. Hiking, camping, sports, and outdoor recreation of all kinds are beckoning, and those who go stir crazy from being held up all winter are just itching for a chance to go outside. But as people get more active, so do pests and the problems they pose, particularly when it comes to ticks and the risks of their harmful bites.

Common Ticks You’ll See Around

While ticks can be found all over, and warmer climates definitely see more varieties and higher activity, we still see common tick species in Massachusetts. Ticks are universally small critters, often only a few millimeters in length. Knowing how to identify the two most common types locally may save you and your loved ones from a bite.

  • Deer Ticks: Also known as black-legged ticks, these are some of the most common in North America and are known for attaching to large, mobile wildlife such as deer. Like all ticks, they will feed on other kinds of animals, too, and mostly prefer large animals as a way to get around. Deer ticks are brown or reddish in color and have eight darker-colored legs.
  • Dog Ticks: So-called for their penchant for biting common household canines, these ticks nonetheless target animals of all kinds, even humans. They are often dark brown in color and adult males have intricate white patterns on their backs, while females have white arch shapes atop their heads.

Tick Bites: Why They’re Dangerous

Ticks aren’t just gross-looking, their bites can be dangerous. Ticks gorge themselves on the blood of animals they latch onto, and they use their dual-pronged pincers to draw their food out and cling to flesh. While not every tick bite will lead to illness or infection, ticks are known for carrying serious diseases, most notably Lyme Disease.

Tick Prevention

There are two types of tick prevention: the measures you take when you go out into the wilderness, and those that you take in your own yard to make sure ticks don’t get dragged indoors. Follow these steps to avoid contact with ticks:

  • Wear long-sleeved clothing: When out in nature, it’s best to keep covered up, even if it’s hot out. Ticks can’t get to your skin to bite you if they can’t get through your clothing. Mending holes or rips in clothing items right away is another good step.
  • Diligent inspection: When people or pets come back inside from being outdoors, it’s best to check their skin and fur for ticks. Use a fine-toothed comb and go slow, carefully checking skin folds, too.
  • Yard maintenance: Keeping your lawn and other vegetation well-manicured will reduce the places that ticks can lie in wait for people or animals to brush by and latch onto. Adequate fencing and barriers to keep out other wildlife, which can be infested with ticks, is also important.

For Ultimate Tick Protection, Call American Pest Solutions

Because the risks can be so great, it’s best not to take any chances with ticks. As soon as you notice their signs in or around your home, turn to professional help. The experts at American Pest Solutions can not only provide peace of mind that tick populations have been wiped out, but they will also educate customers on ways to prevent further tick exposure and infestation. Don’t risk it, turn to American for ultimate tick control.