Ticks are external parasites and are commonly classified into two main types: hard bodied and soft bodied. They typically latch onto an animal host's skin and feed on the host's blood, making them feared transmitters of bacteria and other blood contaminants.
How much do you really know about ticks? Following are some interesting facts about ticks and some tips on how to get rid of them.
Facts About Ticks
- ...are arachnids (arthropods), making them closer relatives of spiders and scorpions than of insects.
- ...are outdoor creatures, and not very active. They most commonly select outdoor mammals (e.g., deer) as hosts, but commonly latch on to indoor pets (most commonly dogs and cats) as their hosts. Once indoors, in the absence of animals to feed on, they will try to latch onto humans as hosts to feed on.
- ... are widely distributed throughout the world, most commonly in warm, humid areas.
- ...can be found wherever they can find host animals to latch onto.
- ...feed on the blood of mammals (primarily), but can also feed on birds, as well as on reptiles and amphibians.
- ...live in tall grass, brush, and shrubs, typically no more than 18-24 inches off of the ground. They also live in lawns and gardens, more commonly at the edges of woods and around stone walls.
- ...cannot fly and they can't jump like fleas. You may occasionally see a tick crawling over your skin or on the skin of a pet to find a good spot to attach itself. Once attached, ticks remain in place where they can feed. Once fed, female ticks will fall off to lay their eggs.
- ... find their hosts by detecting breath, body odors, body heat, moisture, and vibrations caused by movement.
Some More Facts About Ticks
- There are about 200 species found in the United States.
- Tick populations are on the rise, caused in large part by increased urbanization and fragmentation of natural woodlands. These changes have led to growing populations of deer and mice (which ticks feed on), resulting in tick population increases.
- Many of the most harmful types of ticks can be found in tropical regions.
- Hard-bodied ticks are most commonly found deep in the woods.
- Soft-bodied ticks have a tough, leathery outer shell. These ticks are most commonly found in cabins, caves, yards, and on birds.
- The tick life cycle goes through four stages: egg, larva, nymph, and adult.
- Some ticks may need only one host during their lifecycle, while other species (usually the hard-bodied ticks) may require two or even three hosts throughout their life cycles.
- Mites, nematodes, and (sometimes) birds feed on ticks.
- Ticks can live as long as 200 days without food or water, and their typical lifespan lasts from two months to two years, depending on the species.
Treating for Ticks
You don’t have to wait for a tick problem to treat your yard. Using a pest control product as a preventive measure can ensure that your yard isn’t overrun by pests. Choosing a product, like our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Mosquito & Tick Killer, not only kills ticks on contact, it repels them too. It’s formulated with plant essential oils, like lemongrass oil, which means that it’s an effective and more family and environmentally friendly solution.
You will also find Maggie's Farm Yard Bug Spray to be an effective tick killer outdoors, as well as to be able to provide an effective protective barrier in your yard.
When spending time outdoors with family and friends, protect yourself with an effective plant-based bug repellent, like Maggie's Farm Natural Insect Repellent.
Bugs are a part of our world, but that doesn’t mean you have to invite them into your home and yard. Ticks can be problematic but implementing a few precautionary measures can help keep you and your home safe. If ticks or other pests are giving you a fit, we want to help. Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Pest Control products.
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