Ticks are out in force this summer. On Long Island, we deal with three major species of ticks, each with its own specific behaviors, appearances, and risks. Keep reading to learn more about each species you may encounter and how you can minimize your chances of tick encounters this summer.
American Dog Ticks/Wood Ticks
American Dog Ticks are a common species of tick on Long Island; you’ve likely encountered them at some point!
What Do Dog Ticks Look Like?
The appearance of American Dog Ticks varies depending on whether or not they’ve had a blood meal recently. When they haven’t fed recently, these eight-legged pests are a brownish-tan color with white or yellow markings on their oval-shaped bodies. After they’ve feasted on a blood meal, their color is more of a grayish-blue or even olive green shade. In addition to color changes, American Dog Ticks also vary in size depending on how much blood they’ve eaten. Before a blood meal, the American Dog Tick is about 3/16 inches long; after, their bodies can expand to 5/8 inches in length.
Where Will You Find Dog Ticks on Long Island?
Because of their parasitic nature, American Dog Ticks are often hanging out in the same areas as the warm-blooded mammals they enjoy feeding on; deer, livestock, rodents, raccoons, and you guessed it—humans, are a few of their favorites. Most often, American Dog Ticks are found in parks, fields, along wooded paths, and in the grass alongside roads, where they’ll wait until a suitable host passes by and brushes up close enough against them.
What Damage Do Dog Ticks Cause?
American Dog Ticks won’t damage your home in the same way as some pests like termites, which can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage; they can, however pose great health risks through their ability to transmit diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tularemia.
Deer ticks are another common species of ticks on Long Island; typically, you’ll find deer ticks in deciduous forests. They DO attach themselves to deer, living up to their name, but deer ticks will feed on other hosts of their choosing…even humans. Deer ticks often linger on the tips of branches of low-growing shrubs, where they’ll standby until a host passes. Deer ticks are known to carry life-threatening diseases including Lyme Disease and Babesiosis.
What Do Deer Ticks Look Like?
Deer ticks’ bodies are flat, broad, and oval-shaped. Usually, deer ticks are orange or brown in color, and have darker-colored legs, which is why they’re sometimes called “black-legged ticks.” Compared to other tick species, deer ticks are on the smaller side of the size spectrum; adults grow only to about 1/8 inch long. Female deer ticks are larger than their male counterparts; both male and female deer ticks get larger after a blood meal.
Where Will You Find Deer Ticks on Long Island?
Deer ticks require humidity in order to survive and thrive! Because of this, they’re most often found living in dense, tall grasses and vegetation, and along wooded paths and fence lines.
Lone Star Ticks
As their name suggests, Lone Star ticks are most common in Texas and other southeast states, but are sometimes “spotted” on Long Island!
What Do Lone Star Ticks Look Like?
Female Lone Star Ticks are mainly a brown or beige shade with a white spot; males, on the other hand have scattered spots or streaks along their bodies. Adult Lone Star Ticks are a larger species of tick, measuring in at about 1/3 of an inch long.
Where Will You Find Lone Star Ticks on Long Island?
Most often, Lone Star Ticks can be found in areas with little to no tree cover. If you’re in a grassy field or heading down a walkway with your family or pets, be on the lookout!
What Damage Do Lone Star Ticks Cause?
Like the other ticks we’ve covered, Lone Star Ticks won’t damage your home, but can transmit life-threatening illnesses like Bourbon Virus and Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness (STARI).
How to Get Rid of Ticks on Your Property
The single most effective way to prevent ticks from infesting the areas near your home and posing health risks to your family is by making your property unsuitable for ticks altogether. To truly ensure your family, pets, and home are safe, your best bet is to have a professional implement an effective solution like our tick control treatments.
Suburban Exterminating is an award-winning pest control company that can provide long-lasting pest control solutions to get rid of ticks in Long Island, New York. Call us now at (631/516) 864-6900 for an immediate quote.