Top 10 Tick Facts

Ticks, a common warm weather pest, are undoubtedly one of the most universally feared insects by humans. This is due to the fact that ticks can transmit serious and even deadly diseases with their bite. Here are 10 interesting tick facts that you may not have known, and what you can do to protect yourself and your family if you begin seeing ticks in your home or yard.

1. Ticks Belong to the Arachnid Class

While ticks are not thought of as being “spiders,” and they aren’t, they do belong to the same Class as spiders and even scorpions. They are part of the arachnid grouping, as evidenced by the four legs they have on each side of their body (larval ticks have only 3 pairs until they grow up).

2. A Single Tick Bite Can Transmit Multiple Diseases

Ticks spread many diseases, including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease. It is possible for one tick to carry more than one disease and transmit multiple diseases with just a single bite.’

3. Ticks Aren’t Born with Diseases

Although ticks can contract diseases very early in their life cycle, they typically are not born with these diseases, even if their mother was carrying the disease at the time she laid her eggs. Ticks acquire disease through biting and feeding on the blood of an infected host animal.

4. Some Ticks Are Smaller Than the Head of a Pin

Often called “seed ticks,” young ticks tend to be very small and can be difficult to see with the naked eye. They may look like a speck of dirt or a freckle on the skin until examined closely.

5. Ticks Wait for a Host to Pass By

Most ticks live on or near the ground and often reach their hosts by climbing up vegetation and waiting for an animal to pass by. Once onboard, a tick will attach by inserting its mouthparts into skin.

6. A Tick Can Live for a Long Time Without Food

Ticks are very hardy creatures and are built for survival even under poor conditions. Some ticks can survive up to 200 days without a blood meal. The average life span of a tick ranges from between two months and three years.

7. Ticks Find Hosts Through Smell, Temperature, Vibration, and Moisture

A tick senses its prey in a variety of ways. Ticks are able to sense when food is nearby, and they key in on temperature and moisture levels of nearby objects to tell the difference between a potential host and a tree or large rock. They also use vibration to let them know that a host is near by.

8. A Tick Must Be Attached for Several Hours to Transmit a Disease

As dangerous as ticks can be, most ticks must be attached to a host for several hours before they can transmit a disease like Lyme Disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. This is why it’s so important to do “tick checks” if you live in an area that is heavily saturated with ticks or are engaging in outdoor activities when the weather is nice. Always go over your body and head and look for signs of ticks – even small ones – and remove them as soon as possible.

9. Female Ticks Can Double in Size Before Laying Eggs

One female tick can lay up to 3000 eggs, usually near vegetation in areas frequented by animals.

10. Ticks Need Blood at Each Life Stage

The life cycle of a tick goes through four stages from egg to larvae to nymph to adult. After hatching from an egg, the ticks that spread disease must have a blood meal at each stage.

How to Get Rid of Ticks and Protect Your Family

Because ticks can transmit serious diseases, it’s important to protect your family and your pets from ticks in warmer months. Pets can be protected by spot tick treatment, usually available from a veterinarian or pet stores, and people can wear tick-resistant clothing and insect repellent when engaging in outdoor activities or working in their yard.

If you are noticing many ticks in your yard or home, don’t hesitate to contact a pest control company like Colonial Pest. We can treat your yard and home safely and effectively, reducing the tick population and the chances that you or a family member will be bitten and contract a serious disease. Contact us today for a free quote at 1-800-525-8084.

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