Tick Removal and Control in Michigan and Beyond
Griffin’s pest control experts have the tools, expertise, and proven experience to find ticks on your property, wipe them out, and make sure they never come back. If you need tick control in Michigan, Ohio, or Indiana, just give Griffin Pest Solutions a call ASAP.
How can Griffin Solve my Tick Problem?
Griffin uses an integrated combination of treatments and exclusionary solutions to address a tick problem holistically. First, we’ll wipe out any nests and breeding sites on or near your property. Then, we’ll treat the sites we just cleared and any other areas where ticks may be particularly attracted to.
In order to prevent future problems, we’ll recommend ways you can landscape your yard or make minor repairs to keep ticks from making their way back. The result is a tick control solution that will help ensure you don’t have to deal with the unwelcome bloodsuckers coming near you ever again.
What are ticks?
Ticks are small, blood-sucking arachnids of the Ixodida order of Parasitiformes. Ticks are external parasites, or ectoparasites, that get all the nutrition they need to survive and grow by attaching to and feeding on the blood of a host. There are over 800 species of tick distributed all over the world.
What does a tick look like?
Tick identification is easier when you know what to look for. Ticks are usually only 3 to 5mm long and have eight clearly segmented legs. Unlike most arthropods, they lack a distinct, segmented abdomen or cephalothorax. Most ticks are reddish, light brown, or black. There are two main families of ticks: Hard ticks (Ixodidae) and soft ticks (Argasidae).
Hard ticks have a single, shield-like dorsal body section. Their beak-like piercing mouthparts protrude prominently from the front of this section. Soft ticks have pear-shaped, “soft” bodies that will visibly engorge when they feed. Their mouth parts are located on the underside of their bodies. Neither family of ticks has visible eyes.
What are the most common types of ticks in Michigan?
1. American Dog Tick (Dermacentor variabilis)
American dog ticks are brown-red in color. Female adults have prominent, off-white markings on the upper end of their bodies. American dog ticks are most active among leaf litter, tall grass, or shrubs in areas without much tree cover. They can transmit tularemia and rocky mountain spotted fever.
2. Blacklegged Deer Tick (Ixodes scapularis)
Female Blacklegged deer have orange or reddish bodies, while males are uniformly black. Adults may look much larger after feeding. These ticks usually live in forests where they can access their primary food source, white-tailed deer. Deer ticks are the primary vector for lyme disease in North America.
3. Woodchuck Tick (Ixodes cookei)
Woodchuck ticks are tan or reddish-brown in color and about the size of a sesame seed. They prefer to feed on animals and are found throughout Michigan near wild animal dens. They also frequently feed on pets. Woodchuck ticks can rarely transmit the powassan virus to humans.
4. Lone Star Tick (Amblyomma americanum)
Lone star ticks have similar red-brown coloration to dog ticks. Females have a prominent, single “lone star” white spot on their backs. They’re most common in forests or shady, grassy areas. This species is a notorious human biter and can transmit ehrlichiosis, tularemia, and Rocky mountain spotted fever.
5. Brown Dog Tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus)
Brown dog ticks look more seed-shaped than most ticks. This species is unusual because they can survive and breed indoors. They usually live among animals and pets. Brown dog ticks are one of the primary dog disease vectors worldwide. They may also transmit Rocky mountain spotted fever to humans.
Where do ticks live?
Ticks live anywhere they can find both hosts and the means to cling onto them. Ticks can’t fly, so they require tall grass, shrubs, branches, or other “bridges” where they can wait to pass onto prey. Consequently, they’re common in grassy fields, forests, shrubland, and overgrown animal pathways and dens.
How do ticks find prey?
Ticks hunt using specialized “Haller’s organs” to sense the carbon dioxide, ammonia, and pheromones their prey give off. Ticks follow these chemicals to areas their prey frequent. Upon arrival, they “quest” by climbing onto grasses, branches, leaves, or other perches and simply waiting for prey to walk by.
When are ticks active?
Generally, ticks feed from early spring to mid fall and are most active during the summer. Different common tick species respond to seasonal changes differently. American dog ticks are only active from mid April to early fall, for example, while Blacklegged deer ticks can remain active even after hard frosts.
Are ticks dangerous?
Yes. Ticks can transmit diseases to people and/or pets. Michigan ticks are disease vectors for lyme disease, Rocky mountain spotted fever, tularemia, ehrlichiosis, the powassan virus and more. Ticks only transmit diseases after feeding for 24 hours, so it’s crucial to remove ticks as soon as you find them.
How to prevent tick bites
The best way to remove ticks is to avoid their hunting grounds. Don’t walk through tall grasses or enter shrubs, overgrowth, or unpaved wooded areas. If you have to walk through a tick hunting ground, wear insect repellent that contains DEET on your skin and apply repellent that contains Permethrin to clothing.
How to keep ticks out of your yard
Ticks gravitate to places where they can find the perches they use to quest. Keeping them away means denying them these perches. Keep shrubs, grasses, and other foliage trimmed down. Try to keep animals from passing through your yard whenever possible. Regularly pick up fallen branches and leaves.
If you can’t seem to keep ticks from breeding and hunting in and around your yard, know that you can always call Griffin Pest Solutions. Our experts have everything we need to make sure ticks have to go elsewhere to find their unfortunate hosts.
The best way to remove a tick is always to use fine-tipped tweezers to grip the tick’s as close to your skin as possible and pull straight upward, with firm, gradual, and consistent pressure. Don’t try to yank or twist the tick out as you pull and go slowly.
Ticks can latch on anywhere, but they’re particularly fond of warm, dark places such as armpits, joints, behind ears or in hair. They will typically try to crawl up to your head. After returning from a tick hunting ground, strip and use a mirror to check yourself thoroughly.
Ticks are all over Michigan, particularly in summer. The fact is, if you go outside at all around this time of year, you’ll probably encounter them at one point or another. That’s why it’s so important to prepare for that interaction whenever you’re planning to spend time outside.