What are ticks?

Ticks are both arachnids and ectoparasites and are related to spiders and mites. Adult ticks have eight legs, two body parts, and lack wings and antennae. Ectoparasites are parasites that feed on their host’s blood from the outside of the host’s body. Ticks don’t jump or fly, so in order to find a host, they wait in tall grass or dense vegetation for a person or animal to come by that they can climb on.

Ticks feed on the blood on people and animals, usually feeding on a new host at each stage of life. Most ticks go through four life stages: eggs, larva, nymph, and adult. Completing their entire life cycle can take more than three years, depending on environmental conditions and the availability of hosts.

a tick on a leaf

Common ticks living in our area of Virginia include:

  • American dog ticks
  • Lone star ticks
  • Black-legged ticks

Are ticks dangerous?

There is a wide variety of diseases ticks spread to their hosts as they feed. Through their saliva, they can transmit the following diseases (depending on the specific species):

  • Lyme disease
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Anaplasmosis
  • Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI)
  • Tularemia

Ticks are slow feeders, which, coupled with the fact that they feed on various hosts, make it easy for them to spread pathogens that cause people and animals to become ill.

Why do I have a tick problem?

Ticks mainly live and breed outside and are carried from place to place on the backs of their animal hosts. When animals like rodents, deer, foxes, raccoons, and squirrels travel across our properties or forage for food, it is common for them to leave behind some unwelcome visitors: ticks.

Where will I find ticks?

Ticks are found on the ground in damp, moist soil, in areas of dense vegetation waiting for a host, or on the back of an animal host. If they are not on a host feeding, some of their favorite hideouts include:

  • Under leaves, shrubs, and bushes
  • Under decks and porches
  • In tall grass and areas of overgrown vegetation
  • Next to wooded trails, in ditches, and along fence line

How do I get rid of ticks?

Ticks can become a big issue in our Virginia yards, making spending time outside in our own space stressful; partnering with a professional is the best way to get rid of these unwanted intruders. At National Exterminating Company, we can eliminate ticks from Tidewater, Hampton Roads, and Southside Virginia homes and businesses through our quality pest control services.

Using low-impact, environmentally friendly pest solutions, we provide the solutions needed to get rid of current problems with ticks and prevent future problems with these biting pests. To schedule your free inspection and consultation, call the friendly professionals at National Exterminating Company today!

How can I prevent ticks in the future?

Don’t allow ticks to take over your yard. By using our professional services and the following tips, you can reduce tick populations on your property:

  • Clear away tall grass and other landscaping from your home and the edge of your lawn.
  • Remove fallen leaves from your yard.
  • Mow your lawn regularly to keep it short and less attractive to hiding ticks.
  • Restrict tick activity by creating a stone barrier between your yard and any wooded areas or fields.
  • Avoid unwanted wildlife visitors by placing a fence around your yard.
  • Keep rodents from foraging for food on your property by keeping lids on trash cans, removing bird feeders, and picking up uneaten pet food.

Learn more about our home pest control and commercial pest control services.


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