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Ticks in Tampa Bay Lawns Can Mean Disease
Trust our lawn care experts to eliminate blood sucking ticks hiding in your lawn
In Florida, an abundant amount of blood sucking ticks can hide in your lawn and carry with them problems of everything from potentially life threatening diseases to simple skin irritations. Unlike other lawn pests, ticks do not feed on lawns; instead they feed on the blood of the hosts. Ticks will vary in color and size depending on species. Tick larvae can be less than 1mm and adults can be smaller than a sunflower seed, and slightly larger if engorged with blood. Ticks consume blood meals in three stages after eggs hatch– larval, nymph and adult.
There are five primary ticks: The Brown Dog Tick, which feeds mainly on dogs and where dogs travel. The American Dog Tick, typically are found on dogs but will attach to other mammals and humans. The American Dog Tick can cause paralysis in dogs and children when the Ticks attach to the base of the skull or spinal column with recovery within 24 hours of removal. The Lone Star Tick is the most common of the Ticks in Florida. The Gulf Coast Tick is most prevalent on the ears of large mammals; such as cattle and The Black-Legged Tick or Deer Tick is the common carrier of Lyme disease. Ticks do not discriminate for a host, they are known to feed on livestock, deer, humans, dogs and cats, birds and reptiles.
Ticks can be found throughout the year in Florida, but there are seasonal differences in the abundance of nymphs and adults. Ticks in either stage can transmit any diseases they carry, so quick removal of ticks and prevention of tick bites are important. There can be an increased risk of disease from nymphs because they are often small enough to avoid being noticed. At Keepers of the Green, our Tampa Bay lawn care experts take tick elimination seriously. We work hard to protect your lawn, your pets and your family from ticks and other potentially-harmful lawn pests.
Diseases spread by ticks can be serious
Several tick diseases are present in Florida, and others can be contracted during travel.If you are bitten by a tick and become ill, contact your physician. Depending on the disease and individual reactions, it may take several weeks for symptoms to appear. Common ailments include:
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever – Rocky Mountain spotted fever is considered the most severe tick-borne disease in the U.S., with a high mortality rate among untreated cases. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever has also been found in Florida, with the number of cases increasing in the summer months. The American dog tick is the main transmitter in Florida. Symptoms include red, spotted rash with fever; vomiting; headache; lack of appetite; and muscle aches.
- Rickettsia parkeri – The Gulf Coast tick transmits Rickettsia parkeri, similar to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. It is often misdiagnosed for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Infections cause the site of the bite to resemble a sore or pimple. Symptoms include soreness at bite site, fever, fatigue, headache, muscle pain and general malaise and rash.
- Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness (STARI) – STARI is a Lyme-like disease transmitted by the lone star tick. STARI differs from Lyme disease in that chronic symptoms like arthritis and neurological problems generally do not occur. Symptoms include the tell-tale “bull’s eye” rash, migraines, extreme fatigue, fever, headache, and muscle and joint pain.
- Lyme Disease – Lyme disease is less common in Florida than in the northeastern part of the United States. In 2010, less than 60 confirmed cases were reported in Florida, compared with more than 4000 in many northeastern states, according to the Center for Disease Control. Symptoms include “Bull’s eye” rash, fever, headache, chills, fatigue, and stiff neck or muscle aches. Some symptoms may not appear until months or years after the bite.
We control ticks safely and effectively
Unlike in other parts of the country, ticks can be found year-round in Florida. The quick identification, removal and prevention of bites are important to help reduce tick-borne diseases. Ticks must feed for several hours as ticks in either the nymph or adult stage can transmit diseases.
Simple measures you can take to eliminate tick infestations
Ticks will typically piggyback on pets, people or clothing. If you have been exposed to long grass, woods, dark crawl spaces or an attic, it is always wise to take preventative measures to make sure that there are no Ticks and to wash any clothes. Home life is not the preferred environment, as they cannot survive without a host. Inspection of your pets and clothing will drastically reduce the chances of your pets contracting a tick-borne disease.
If you find that there is a Tick infestation in your yard, there are simple measures to create a tick-free environment. Mowing your lawn regularly will help reduce ticks as they hide in taller grass. Avoid over watering your lawn. Ticks prefer moist areas. Remove all the leaf litter and excess brush and weeds around the perimeters of the lawn and monitor pet rest areas and keep them out of wooded areas as the insects remain within 50 feet. There are various methods of treatments to keep the area free and clear. Try to keep wildlife out of your pet’s primary area by fencing their habitat. Ticks tend to dwell in the environment of their preferred host and can thrive in a variety of environments such as forests, grasslands and human homes. They will seek safety in dark, removed areas within homes.
If you suspect a tick infestation contact our lawn care professionals for a fast, free consultation and comprehensive lawn analysis
Our full-service lawn care program is the best way to keep your lawn and landscape areas thick, lush and pest-free year around. You can count on us to keep your lawn looking great. Contact us at 813-245-3432 for a free quote or online at to discuss your grounds maintenance today. We have more than 25 years experience helping Tampa Bay area business and homeowners keep their lawns healthy and pest-free. Count on us for fast, friendly service and stress-free beauty.