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Ticks & Lyme Disease In Indianapolis: What You Should Know

big tick on a leaf

Football is huge in Indianapolis with residents cheering on those Colts! The legendary Indiana Pacers keep fans sitting at the edges of their seats through basketball season, and the Indianapolis Indians provide excitement during the summertime. The Indianapolis deer tick, however, provides no such excitement to the residents of Indianapolis.

What Do Deer Ticks Look Like And Do They Carry Disease?

Deer ticks, also called black-legged ticks, are flat, broad, and oval-shaped. Females are about 1/8” in length (males slightly smaller) and will increase in size to about ½” after feeding. Adult females are brown to reddish-orange with a dark brown dorsal shield on their back right behind their head. After females feed, their coloration can change to tan, gray or dark brown. Adult males tend to be dark brown in color.

Because a deer tick feeds on the blood of other animals that may be infected with Lyme disease, they can become vectors, or transmitters, that help spread the disease. While ticks may be the main transmitters of Lyme disease, not every tick bite results in Lyme disease, even from an infected tick.

How Do Indianapolis Deer Ticks Find Their Hosts?

Deer ticks in Indianapolis hang out in grass and shrubs waiting for a host to pass by. Transitional areas are especially attractive to ticks in Indianapolis awaiting a new host.

Some examples of these transitional areas that are likely to be a resting spot for ticks include:

  • Places where forests meet fields
  • Overgrown grass fence lines
  • Foot trails with high grasses
  • Dens or nesting areas of wildlife

Most tick bites are painless and cause minor symptoms such as a rash, fever, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, and joint swelling and pain.

Lyme Disease Prevention Tips

It is critical to spot and remove ticks quickly to prevent the possible transmission of Lyme disease. After spending time outdoors, residents should check themselves for "hitchhikers.”

Items that should be checked are as follows:

  • Clothing: Remove ticks from clothing by using a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing; damp clothes need additional time. Consider washing clothing (dirty or not) using the hottest setting.
  • Pets and Gear: Check pets (especially ones that spend a lot of time outdoors) and outdoor gear like backpacks, coats, jackets, etc.
  • Your Body: After spending the day outdoors in tick-prone areas, it is recommended that you shower within 2 hours of returning home. This will help wash off unattached ticks and provide an opportunity to check your body for ticks.

It is especially important to check the following places:

    • Backs of knees
    • Underarms
    • Between legs
    • Around waist
    • In and around hair and ears
    • Inside the belly button

The Best Way To Reduce Ticks On My Indianapolis Property

A good way to keep ticks off of your property is to make your property unattractive by mowing and trimming. Removing debris such as leaves and piles of grasses is also helpful in keeping ticks at bay.

Property owners can create barriers of wood chips, gravel, or mulch between grassy edges and your home. Since deer and mice are common transporters of ticks, it is wise to use prevention techniques to keep them off your property.

While all these tips are helpful, Action Pest Control can recommend effective solutions to chase ticks off your property. Call the pest professionals at Action Pest Control today, and let us customize a Indianapolis pest control program that will fit your needs. We are committed to solving your pest problems with prompt and professional service.