ticks in long grass outside tulsa home

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What do ticks look like?

In Oklahoma, ticks are a common problem for both homeowners and businesses. The most commonly encountered ticks are the deer tick and the brown dog tick.tick on a white background

Deer ticks

Adult deer ticks have a broad, oval-shaped body; before feeding adults are about the size of a sesame seed or about 1/8th of an inch in length. They become larger in size after feeding and their color changes from orangish brown to a more reddish brown or rust color. Their most distinctive feature is that the adults 8 legs are darker in color than the rest of their body; this is also where they get their other common name “blacklegged tick” from. Deer ticks are wingless and have no antennae.

Brown dog ticks

Adult brown dog ticks are reddish-brown in color and are without any distinguishing markings on their body. Before feeding, adults are about 1/8th of an inch long, and have a flat elongated body; after having a blood meal their bodies expand to about ½ of an inch in length and they turn a bluish-gray color. Adults have 8 legs, the larva has 6 legs. Males and female are very similar in appearance except in most cases males are smaller than the females.

Where are ticks found?

Deer ticks are typically found in high grasses, along wooded trails, along the edges of fields and fence lines, and in the vegetation along ditches as well as in wooded areas. 

The brown dog tick is unique in the fact that it can complete its entire lifecycle indoors, these ticks survive best indoors and prefer warm, dry living conditions. Brown dog ticks are usually found in infesting areas where pets spend a lot of time. They are also found living in and along window sills, baseboards, the edges of carpets, and in the cracks of furniture. As to be expected brown dog ticks are also a common problem in and around kennels and dog boarding facilities.

Are ticks dangerous?

Deer ticks are dangerous in that they can carry and transmit a variety of serious diseases. Deer ticks are most well-known for carrying and transmitting Lyme disease to both people and animals. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and if left untreated can cause serious health problems including complication with joints, and the heart and nervous system.

Brown dog ticks, rarely feed on people, preferring the blood of canines over any other species of mammal; because of this brown dog ticks are generally more of a concern for dogs than people. They can transmit a variety of diseases to animals including ehrlichiosis. It is important to note that these ticks do carry and have the potential to transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever to people so care should always be taken around these parasitic pests. Quick action should always be taken against these pests in the case of an infestation.

Why are ticks on my property?

Deer ticks are most likely on your property because the conditions are favorable for them to hide out and to find a host for a blood meal. Deer ticks are also introduced onto properties by wild animals passing through. 

Brown dog ticks are wingless and can’t jump, they move from new location to a new location on the hosts that they are feeding on. Brown dog ticks can be introduced to properties on the bodies of dogs that travel through or visit, or on the bodies of wild animals. After they are done feeding they fall off of their host onto the ground.  They will then hide and wait until a new host passes by and crawl onto that host, attach themselves to it, and begin feeding on it. 

How do I get rid of ticks?

Montgomery Exterminating provides effective tick control for properties in and around Tulsa and the Grand Lake area. Our treatments focus on areas where ticks hide, including lawns, shrubs, and tall grasses. Learn more about our tick control services and visit our home pest control page to find out how you can bundle tick control with an ongoing pest control program and save!

Helpful Tick Articles 

Why Ticks Pose Serious Health Risks to Oklahoma Residents and Pets


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