Do Ticks Die When Put into a Washing Machine?

As you may have read from previous articles, ticks are one tough insect. They can survive submerged in water for up to 72 hours (about 3 days), withstand extreme temperatures, and are almost impossible to crush. But what about washing them? Do ticks die in the washing machine? Will the combination of churning water and laundry detergent be enough to kill these resilient insects?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Ticks can outlast a sudsy journey through your washing machine, even the hot water cycle. A study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that most ticks survived nearly all combinations of temperature settings and detergent types (told ya, they are one tough bug). So, if a thorough wash and rinse cycle won’t kill them, what can you do to eliminate these potentially dangerous pests? Will any type of washing kill a tick? Here are some important things you should know about ticks.

Why Are Ticks So Dang Tough?

I think we can all agree—ticks are tough. Any insect capable of surviving a run through your washing machine is worthy of a ‘super bug’ title. Ticks can survive washing by sheltering in crevices and folds of your laundry. Because they trap oxygen from water in tiny, hydrophobic hairs on their bodies, some tick species can survive hours or even days submerged in freshwater.

In addition to escaping the washing machine in one piece, ticks can also survive indoors in carpets, too. These creepy crawlers are drought-resistant, cold tolerant, and can go months without a meal (it just keeps getting better).

Related Topic: Do Ticks Survive Water?

Can Ticks Survive Laundry—Including the Dryer?

It appears that ticks can make it through the washing machine alive, but what about the dryer? This depends on the cycle setting. While most ticks will die after tumbling around for 30 minutes or more at high heat, many can survive a “no heat” dryer cycle. Surprisingly, it’s not the heat that actually kills them—it’s the dryness. Ticks require moisture to survive and are more likely to die in very dry conditions, like those created inside a hot dryer.

How to Kill Ticks in Laundry with Certainty

Want to be certain you kill ticks in the laundry? Here are two simple steps to kill even the most resilient ticks hiding in your clothing:

  • Place soiled clothing in the washing machine, and use the hottest water setting along with your regular detergent.
  • After washing, immediately place the clothes in the dryer and dry for a minimum of sixty minutes on high heat.

Following these steps immediately after spending time in areas that are known to harbor ticks, will not only ensure your clothes are clean, but tick-free too. Even if your clothes are tick-free, it’s also important to do a thorough inspection of your body to make sure no ticks have latched on and begun feeding.

Related Topic: Where Are Lone Star Ticks Found?

Make Ticks Run for the Hills

There is no doubt that ticks are tough to kill. The best way to deal with ticks is to avoid them as much as possible. But if you enjoy the outdoors that’s not always easy, unless you call the pest control pros at Mosquito Joe. We offer tick control services that help eliminate even the toughest ticks on your property. To keep you and your family safe from ticks and all kinds of biting insects. Schedule online or call 1-855-275-2563 to connect with your local team.


Can Ticks Survive in Water?

Ticks can be a problematic insect that transmits the disease to both animals and humans. They are also resourceful, adaptable insects that can withstand temperature fluctuations and other environmental changes that would kill many other insects. But are ticks super insects? Are they capable of surviving the most extreme conditions, like being submerged in water for an extended period of time?

Its true ticks are amazing creatures who can survive being submerged in water for up to two or three days. But fortunately, they are not superbugs, even a tick will eventually drown.

So how can a tick, which is usually less than a 1/8 inch in size, survive underwater for what amounts to a weekend? There is a lot more to this tiny, almost unnoticed creature than meets the eye. We have compiled some interesting facts to help you better understand how this adaptable insect survives such extreme conditions.

Related Topic: How to Properly Remove a Tick

The Science Behind Ticks’ Underwater Survival Skills

One reason ticks can survive underwater for up to 72 hours is their plastron, an alternate respiratory system that allows them to breathe through air trapped on hairs on their body. As we just summarized, the main reason a tick can survive underwater for long periods is its ability to “breath the water.” Ticks have hydrophobic hairs on their body; this means that the little hairs don’t absorb water. Instead, the hairs carry a thin layer of oxygen from the water, which the tick “breathes” to stay alive while fully submerged.

Even a pool or an ocean won’t be enough to quickly drown a tick, as the concentrations of chlorine in pools and salt in oceans aren’t high enough to kill ticks. They will still be able to “breathe” in these bodies of water. To learn more, read this study from the Journal of Insect Physiology.

Do Ticks Like Water?

Because ticks can live for so long underwater, you’re probably asking yourself, “Can ticks swim?” Although it would be logical to assume they had figured out how to swim, ticks don’t swim. Their tiny legs and cumbersome bodies don’t allow for it. However, they do like being near water. This means if there’s standing water or your yard is saturated you might be harboring an inviting habitat for ticks.

The Trick to Drowning a Tick Quickly?

You’re probably wondering if anything can drown a tick quickly. The answer is yes. For example, after removing the tick from you or a pet you can drown it quickly by submerging it in rubbing alcohol. The problem with this method is that it requires the tick to be removed first. So, what if the tick is on your dog and you’re having a hard time catching your pet? Can you drown ticks on a dog? Unfortunately, you’ll need to remove the tick before killing it. You can use a tick removal tool, which can be purchased at most pet supply stores, or tweezers to remove the tick.

Related Topic: Think Your Pet Has Lyme Disease? Here’s What To Do

Can Ticks Survive in Hot Water?

By now you’ve probably come to the conclusion: ticks are resilient. As true as that statement is, ticks aren’t invincible, and there are a few non-chemical ways to kill them. Although ticks can survive in hot water, to an extent, once the water gets above 130°F, the tick’s chance of survival drops close to zero. If you suspect there’s a tick on your clothes, you could put them in a hot cycle in the washing machine (which might kill the tick), followed by a hot drying cycle (which should finish the job).

What About Ice and Snow?

As mentioned earlier, ticks are adaptable creatures capable of surviving extreme conditions. If a tick is adequately protected under a layer of leaf litter, it can survive icy precipitation and chilling temperatures for months at a time. And when things really get cold, they handle the harsh winter conditions by entering a hibernation-like state called diapause. Similar to animals and other insects this state of hibernation slows down all non-essential functions in order to conserve energy and maintain only the functions needed for survival.

Related Topic: What Percentage of Ticks Carry Lyme Disease?

Tackling Ticks in Your Yard

Ticks are true survivors, adaptable, and able to withstand extreme conditions, including being fully submerged in water for days. One of the best ways to deal with this resilient insect is to avoid areas where they thrive (high grassy and lightly traveled wooded areas). To minimize the risk of contact in and around your yard and property, call your local pest control pros from Mosquito Joe. Our barrier spray helps keep ticks and mosquitoes at bay for up to 21 days. We also offer natural pest control solutions and can even install a high-quality misting system that allows you and your family to enjoy your yard fully and freely. To learn more, give us a call at 1-855-275-2563, or visit us online today.


How Many Times Can a Mosquito Bite You?

Many of us, at one time or another, have attended an event or outdoor activity and arrived home to discover we have multiple mosquito bites to show for our outdoor fun. However, what we don’t know is, was our itchy affliction caused by one, or multiple mosquitoes? Can one mosquito bite multiple times or is there no limit to the number of times one mosquito can bite?

To answer these pressing questions, we must take a closer look at who is doing the biting and why.

A Blood Thirsty Princess

When it comes to mosquitoes, it’s the female of the species that inflicts the most damage on us humans. In fact, a female mosquito can keep biting you and feeding on your blood until she is full. A blood-thirsty female can bite an unsuspecting victim up to five or six times a day.

Here’s the math: Common types of female mosquitoes weigh about 2 milligrams and can drink three times their weight in blood. In a single feeding session, they drain .001 to .01 mL of blood, which weighs 1 to 10 milligrams. So, an individual mosquito could bite up to five times before she’s full.

This calculation assumes that nobody interrupted (i.e., swatted) the mosquito while she is doing her thing. And in case you didn’t know: The males don’t bite or feed on blood.

Do Mosquitoes Die After They Bite You?

No. They don’t die from biting, no matter how much they bite. In fact, they thrive. To successfully reproduce, a female mosquito needs protein, amino acids, and other nourishment from blood. So she has blood meals throughout her entire adult life: four to eight weeks. She produces eggs throughout that time, whenever she has sufficient nourishment.

Besides humans, female mosquitoes feed on the blood of songbirds, waterfowl, amphibians, snakes, other reptiles, and mammals such as raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, horses, and cattle. However, many types of mosquitoes do seem to prefer feeding on humans. That’s likely because we’re easier to find, as we exhale a lot of CO2 and produce other distinct odors that these highly sensitive insects can detect.

Related Topic: What Do Male Mosquitoes Eat?

How Many Mosquito Bites Is Dangerous?

Yes, mosquito bites are annoying, itchy, and uncomfortable, but excluding cases of mosquito-borne illness and/or severe allergies, it’s unlikely that multiple mosquito bites will cause any serious issues for you. So, if one mosquito decides to make you an all-you-can-eat buffet, don’t worry too much about it.

Don’t cancel your next outdoor gathering trip or barbeque!

Mosquitoes and other pests can quickly ruin an outdoor gathering or a quiet afternoon in the yard. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can take back your yard and make the outdoors fun again with a call to your local pest control pros at Mosquito Joe. Our mosquito barrier spray can keep the biters at bay for up to 21 days. We also offer pest control and can even install a high-quality misting system that allows you and your family to enjoy your yard fully and freely. To learn more, give us a call at 1-855-275-2563, or visit us online today.