What kind of ticks live in Texas?

The four most common ticks in Texas are the American Dog tick, the brown dog tick, the black-legged tick, and the lone star tick. These arachnids thrive during the warm spring and summer months. 

American Dog Tick in Texas

Dog Tick on a rock.

Ticks tend to hide in overgrown grass, brush, bushes, low-lying vegetation, and branches. Unfortunately, they also tend to hang out where their hosts are, so they’re common at parks, farms, nature trails, and anywhere where there are animals and humans available. So if you’re walking in an area with a lot of vegetation, make sure to be extra careful and on the lookout for ticks.

Do ticks in Texas carry diseases?

Unfortunately, Texas is home to several ticks that have the potential to carry disease-causing pathogens. Ticks can carry a variety of diseases, with the most common being Lyme disease. Others include Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Heartland virus, and more. Diseases from ticks are transmitted by the tick’s saliva when they bite their host. 

However, in most cases, the tick must be attached to the host for several hours or even days before the disease is transmitted. Therefore, frequently checking for ticks and properly removing them can help prevent disease transmission.

How do you treat tick bites?

When treating a tick bite, the first thing to do is to remove the tick with a pair of tweezers. You should try not to twist it too much to avoid damage to the skin. Gently wash the bite with soap and warm water. The site will probably look red and feel irritated. Applying an antibiotic ointment and bandage should help. 

Unfortunately, because ticks can carry dangerous diseases, as mentioned before, be on the lookout for symptoms for about 30 days after you received the bite. A common symptom of tick-transmitted illnesses is a large red spot near the bite, stiffness in the neck, a full-body rash, headaches, nausea, chills, a fever, or muscle achiness. However, the symptoms for specific diseases vary. If you feel unwell, be sure to seek medical attention and tell the doctor about the tick bite.

How can you prevent tick bites?

The easiest way to protect yourself from ticks is by keeping your skin covered while hiking or walking in grassy or wooded areas. However, ticks may still attach to your clothing. Be sure to thoroughly search your clothes before you head back inside to prevent bringing in any unwanted guests. 

Another option is to use an insect repellant containing DEET on your skin or treat clothing with permethrin. Be sure to carefully follow label directions and avoid using on children, particularly those aged three and under. Finally, be sure to check your pet for ticks, too. Whether you have a cat, dog, or any other type of pet, domesticated animals are a favorite host for ticks. Using a flea and tick preventative on your furry friend and checking them frequently will help protect you both.

Finally, if you are frequently finding or seeing ticks, be sure to schedule an appointment with 855Bugs for a free inspection. Ticks may live in Texas, but you don’t have to be their next meal.