Mosquitoes flying around

Everything You Need to Know About Ticks in Florida

June 05, 2023

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

As the warmer months of spring and summer roll in, Florida’s tall grasses and wooded areas experience a surge in tick activity, potentially casting a shadow over your favorite outdoor pastimes. Use this guide to discover everything you need to know regarding ticks in Florida and how to avoid them so you can help keep yourself, your family, and your pets safe.

Are there ticks in Florida? 

Yes, ticks are a common pest in Florida during the warmest months. Residents throughout the state should take special precautions and protect themselves from ticks, especially during tick season.

deer tick on skin of human finger

When is tick season in Florida? 

While ticks can be found any time of year throughout most of Florida, they’re most active throughout the spring and summer. Nymphal stages of ticks infect the most people during this time frame, as the reproduction cycle increases the number of young ticks looking for hosts. Nymphs are often small enough to escape detection, allowing them to remain attached to humans longer than their adult counterparts. 

Do ticks in Florida carry Lyme disease

Lyme disease is one of the many diseases ticks found in Florida carry. This bacterial infection causes symptoms such as rash, fever, headache, and fatigue. If not treated early, the infection can spread to your heart, nervous system, and joints. Other tick diseases in Florida include ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Types of ticks in Florida 

While there are several species of ticks in Florida, the two most common varieties are American Dog Ticks and Black-legged Ticks. Below is a brief description of both species.

American Dog Ticks 

Also known as wood ticks, the American Dog Tick prefers to feed on domesticated dogs and is only found in North America. These ticks are part of the hard tick family, which means they have a hard exterior shield. They are brown with white to gray markings and resemble a flattened oval. You’re most likely to discover American Dog Ticks at the height of the tick season during spring and summer.

Close up of an American dog tick crawling across hairy skin
American Dog Tick

Black-legged Tick

Black-legged ticks, also known as Bear Ticks and Deer Ticks, prefer white-tailed deer as their host, but that doesn’t prevent them from attaching to humans when given the opportunity. Deer Ticks in Florida are orange-brown with dark, black legs with a broad, oval shape. This tick species is notorious for spreading Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, human babesiosis, and Powassan encephalitis.

Close up of a black-legged tick crawling on a green leaf
Black-Legged Tick

How to avoid ticks in Florida 

Proactive measures for prevention are vital to avoiding ticks in Florida. Below are some of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from potential tick problems:

  • Stay on the path. When out in nature, keep to the middle of established walkways and hiking trails, especially when headed into deep woods, parks, or areas with tall grass and untrimmed shrubs.
  • Perform regular checks. Carefully look over yourself, your family, and your pets for ticks. Perform checks frequently, especially in the spring and summer and when you’ve spent time outdoors.
  • Shower often. Take a shower as soon as possible after being in areas that could have ticks. Put your clothes immediately in the wash as well.
  • Talk to your vet. Ask your veterinarian about the best way to prevent a tick problem for your dogs if they spend time in wooded areas.
  • Keep your yard trimmed. Regularly trim your grass, shrubs, and trees with a keen eye on any greenery near your home or in areas of your yard frequently used.

Tick control services 

If you suspect a tick problem on your property, call a professional pest control company, like Hawx Pest Control, as quickly as possible. With proven methods, qualified technicians, and the best products and services available, Hawx is the undisputed leader in pest control solutions. Our friendly professionals are ready to help you all year round. Call us today for a free estimate to get your tick problem under control.

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