Oklahoma City's Complete Guide To Ticks & Lyme Disease

August 25, 2021

Nature hikes and camping outdoors is practically a summertime staple, but nobody likes it when ticks ruin the fun. It's even worse when they follow you home and infest your Oklahoma City property, especially the nefarious deer tick. This species, in particular, is the most common host of Lyme Disease, so if you've found them in your backyard this summer, it may be time to think about how to get rid of them.

a deer tick on a finger

Identifying Deer Ticks, And Their Relationship With Lyme Disease

These parasitic arachnids only grow up to roughly 1/8 to ¼ of an inch in size before feeding, so spotting one before they've had their fill of blood is no easy task. Deer ticks possess those telltale attributes that all hard ticks have; flat, round bodies, eight legs, hardened exoskeletons, and ahead with mouthparts for feeding. These ticks in particular are reddish-brown in color, with a black shield-like circle on their backs.

Not all deer ticks carry Lyme Disease. They aren't the cause of its existence, but merely a vessel for the disease to pass onto a viable host. Ticks have to feed on an infected host in order to become a vector of Lyme Disease, and if they don't then they're just a regular old parasite. Still, it's impossible to know which tick is a carrier and which isn't, so the fewer bites you experience, the less likely you are to contract a disease.

How Do Deer Ticks Infest Oklahoma City Properties?

Ticks don't have wings, they're not fast crawlers, and they don't even have eyes, so they literally can't infest without some form of assistance. Unfortunately, they're experts at finding new hosts, which often happen to be all manner of wildlife:

  • Rats and mice

  • Squirrels

  • Raccoons

  • Chipmunks

  • Birds

  • Deer

  • Gophers and groundhogs

The reason they're so adept at finding new hosts is a fascinating organ called Haller's organ, which is located in their frontmost legs. These organs allow ticks to sense any shift in CO2 levels, temperature, and humidity; all sure-fire signs of a viable blood-filled host.

Signs Of Lyme Disease, And How To Safely Remove A Tick

A tick bite itself is relatively painless, which is crucial for their feeding process since they often require 5 to 7 days to fully engorge. Luckily, if the tick is a vector for Lyme Disease, it isn't contracted right away. It takes roughly 24-36 hours before it's transmitted, so if you catch a latched tick within that time frame, you should be safe. You're always better safe than sorry though, so keep an eye out for unusual symptoms over the next few weeks:

  • Fatigue

  • Bulls-eye rash near the bite area

  • Flu-like symptoms; fever, nausea, vomiting, sore joints

  • Headaches and neck stiffness

  • Joint swelling

  • Facial palsy; one or both sides of the face losing muscle tone

  • Nerve pain and tingling

  • Shortness of breath

  • Dizziness

  • Heart palpitations

There are many ways to get a tick to remove itself, but medical professionals advise against these practices. If a tick is allowed to pull out on its own, it'll often expel some fluids as it does so, which increases your chances of contracting a tick-borne disease. Instead, use a sterile pair of fine-point tweezers, firmly grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible (without squeezing the tick too hard), and pull it out in one swift motion. No jerking or twisting required, it'll pop right out. Afterward, wash the area with warm soapy water and apply some rubbing alcohol to the bite.

What Can You Do About A Deer Tick Infestation On Your Oklahoma City Property?

These pests can pose a serious risk to the health of your Oklahoma City household, so it's always advised to consult a licensed pest control company rather than trying to tackle this infestation on your own. Our pest experts at Dandi Guaranty have treated a lot of infestations over the past 60 years, and we're confident in our ability to tackle even more. We even use the highest quality pest control products available, so you know you'll be getting the best treatment every single visit. Don't live in fear of your lawn this summer. Get in contact with us today to start discussing your options.

Tags: ticks | tick control | tick prevention |

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