Pest Guide: What to Know About Ticks

The Tick Life Cycle

Ticks are common in Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., and can pose a long-term problem in areas they infest. Ticks typically live for two to three years and follow a four-stage life cycle. Starting as eggs, ticks hatch into six-legged larvae. They attach themselves to a host, typically a small mammal, which they feed off as they grow. Eventually, they molt and turn into eight-legged nymphs when they find a new, larger host. After engorging off the blood of their new host, the nymphs turn into adults, the females of which lay thousands of eggs and then die.

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What Factors Attract a Tick Infestation?

Brown dog tick close-up on green leaf texture.

Ticks can be found throughout the Washington, D.C. metro region, but some factors can make your home especially attractive to them. You can make it less likely that you face a tick infestation by mitigating the following:

  • Nearby tick habitats: Ticks living in nearby grassy fields, woods, or parks can migrate to your yard without a break between your property and potential sources.
  • Pet and human activity: You or your pet can pick up ticks while traveling outdoors and bring them inside your home, where they can live in your clothing and carpets.
  • Removing Cover: Rats can quickly move into your home when they have exterior foliage to push through, which a professional exterminator can remove.
  • Warm, wet weather: Ticks thrive in warm, damp weather and can be incredibly thick during summer.

Common Questions About Ticks

Ticks can be very dangerous to humans and pets. In addition to sucking blood, they are also known carriers of Lyme disease. Infected with this bacterial disease can face lifelong effects, including a permanent allergy to red meat and fatigue. An improperly removed tick can also leave a wound prone to infection.

Cutting back grassy or lush vegetation from your home can deprive ticks of habitat. You may also need to cut back any trees, as ticks can climb them and wait to jump down on unsuspecting prey. Fixing any leaks and keeping pets indoors if ticks are in your neighborhood can also deprive them of the food and water they need to establish themselves.

Ticks can be dangerous to you and your loved ones and challenging to remove alone. You may be tempted to spray pesticides around your home, but this can be dangerous to yourself, your animals, and potentially plants. You might also not get all the ticks on your property. A professional can take care of a tick infestation for you.

Tips for Preventing Ticks

  • Keep your yard tidy and eliminate tall grass, leaf litter, and other areas with vegetation.
  • Keep your lawn mowed and remove any debris or brush piles where ticks might hide.
  • Use tick repellents: Apply an EPA-approved tick repellent to your skin, clothing, and outdoor gear when you're going to be in tick-prone areas. Follow the product instructions carefully
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, and closed-toe shoes when you're in tick-prone areas. Tuck your pants into your socks to prevent ticks from crawling up your legs.
  • Check yourself and your pets for ticks after spending time outdoors.
  • Maintain your pets' flea and tick protection.

How My Pest Pros Helps Eliminate Ticks

Ticks can transmit serious diseases to humans and pets, so it's important to take steps to protect yourself and your family. My Pest Pros uses specialized EPA-approved products to eliminate ticks from your home or yard while protecting your children and pets.

We will inspect your yard to identify problem areas and recommend how you can help reduce or treat them. Our technicians are trained to identify tick problem areas.

For ultimate protection, our professionals will work with you to find a customized solution for your tick problem, today and tomorrow.

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