How Far Can a Tick Jump?


Have you ever wondered, How far can a tick jump? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s dig into the cool facts about how ticks travel so you can be better protected from the nasty little suckers.

We make no bones about it; BUGS are our business. So we make it our business to know everything about bugs. To battle bugs effectively, we have to know the answer to all kinds of bug questions. Yes, we’re nerds when it comes to bugs.

Take the tick, for example. Ticks are pests that cause all kinds of problems for humans and pets that venture outdoors. The results of their bites can range from mild skin irritations to serious health consequences. There’s a ton more to know about ticks, but we’ll focus on a few questions that may have been “bugging” you for a while.

Now, we understand that most people don’t think about ticks like we do, at least not until they become a problem. But there are a few tick questions we get quite often, one of the most common being: How far can a tick jump? This is actually more of a trick question than a tick question.

Despite being outfitted with four pairs of legs, adult ticks don’t jump at all. Each leg is covered with short, spiny hairs and ends in a couple of tiny, curved claws. Between the two claws is a small, sticky pad. The hairs, claws, and sticky pads are all designed to assist the tick in locating, grasping, and crawling onto its host — no jumping required. And it’s wired to crawl upwards once it does attach.

Unlike the enormously strong flea legs, a tick’s legs are not geared for locomotion so much as for grasping. They seem to get around quite a bit, so people often ask, “Can ticks jump and fly?” No, they can’t jump, and ticks don’t have wings, so they can’t fly either. They are essentially grounded, but not in a good way! Living close to the ground doesn’t mean ticks can’t move up in the world. They still manage to get around quite well.

So, how fast do ticks move? On their own, not very fast. If they were a vehicle, they would be a tractor, slow and plodding. But they are skilled at utilizing other means of transportation. Our response to the question “Do ticks jump or fly?” is that they don’t need to. They have found more efficient ways to get around, much to our disadvantage.

How Ticks Move in Nature

So, if ticks do not fly or jump, how do they reach your property? How do ticks travel? A tick’s primary mode of travel is on the host whose blood it feeds on. This could be an animal, a human, or both. Ticks are not too picky when it comes to transportation; they’ll take the first ride that comes along.

In the wild, a tick climbs to the top of a plant or a long blade of grass to search for a host. This host-seeking behavior is called “questing.” While holding the plant with its third and fourth pair of legs, the tick stretches out its first pair of legs, waiting for an animal to approach. Ticks can feed on mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and humans. Warm-blooded hosts are their favorite. With the slightest brush, a tick can grab on and instinctively crawl upwards toward the host’s head and ears, seeking thinner skin.

The tick grasps the host’s skin and cuts into it with its claws. During this process, the tick also secretes a numbing agent within its saliva that helps its bite go undetected. Then it inserts a barbed feeding tube, and the blood buffet is open. An adult tick can remain attached, feeding, for a week to 10 days. During that time, the host continues daily life and may transport the tick several miles. Once sated, the tick releases its hold and drops off its host. Soon, it will again climb to the top of another plant to resume questing.

How Ticks Get on Humans

The most common way a tick finds a human host is through questing. This is the host-seeking behavior where the tick crawls to the top of a plant or grass stem to wait with its forelegs outstretched. When a human brushes against the undergrowth, the tick grabs on and then crawls to a preferred site to attach and feed. Sometimes, ticks wind up on tree leaves, branches, and shrubs. Although it’s more common to find ticks in low-lying areas, this is not always the case. The second most common way ticks find human hosts is through their pets. If your dog or cat is bitten, the tick may drop off in your home or yard. That proximity makes you a more likely target when the tick resumes questing. This is why it’s a good practice to inspect your pet for ticks after spending time outdoors, especially during spring and summer.

Preventing Tick Bites

The most important step to preventing tick-borne disease is learning all about tick bites and how to find them. Then, you can take essential steps for tick bite prevention. These steps include avoiding typical tick habitats like wooded and grassy areas when possible. When out hiking or walking, try to stay on designated or established pathways to avoid encountering ticks. You’ll also learn the ways to help limit ticks on your property. When walking where ticks are likely to be, wear long sleeves and pants in light colors. While ticks cannot jump or fly, they are excellent at hitchhiking a ride and will cling on if you brush past their perch. Covering your skin makes it harder for ticks to attach and start feeding, and the light clothing makes the tiny pests easier to spot.

You won’t feel a tick bite (because they anesthetize the skin before biting), so vigilance is key to remaining healthy and free of tick-borne diseases. Despite all the tick-avoidance precautions you can take, it is critical that you examine your pets, kids, and yourself for ticks when returning home from the outdoors. Showering is an excellent way to rinse away any ticks that are not yet attached. Unfortunately, washing your clothing won’t kick ticks; you’ll also have to toss them into the dryer and run it on high heat for 10 minutes to kill any tick adults or larvae. If you get bitten, properly removing the tick is essential to avoid the diseases they spread.

The Importance of Tick Testing

Testing is important if you, a family member, or a pet gets bitten by a tick. Tick testing will let you know what diseases the tick is carrying. It will not determine whether you were infected, but it alerts you to whether you need to consider treatment. Your doctor will advise you on potential treatment after receiving the test results.

When removing a tick, take care not to crush it. Instead, seal it in an airtight container or wrap it in tape. Make a note of the date of the tick bite, where on your body you were bitten, and the approximate location where you encountered the tick. Some people, especially those with a compromised immune system, prefer to test immediately. Others save the tick(s) for testing if they develop symptoms.

Protect Yourself and Your Family From Tick Bites

Although ticks do not fly or jump, they represent a health hazard for you, your family, and your pets. Ticks that carry various diseases are becoming more plentiful as development further encroaches on their natural habitat and more areas experience warmer seasonal temperatures. Therefore, it is critical that you take steps to protect yourself from these bloodsucking, disease-carrying pests.

In addition to these precautions, employing professional tick control services by your local Mosquito Joe is essential to limiting exposure to ticks around your home. We provide effective tick control as part of our comprehensive pest control services. All our work is backed by the Neighborly Done Right Promise™ and our Mosquito Joe® Satisfaction Guarantee, so you can count on excellent results. We come out to your property, tailoring our service to your specific needs. Discover effective, professional tick control near you. We have locations across the country. Our reliable pest control service is trusted by thousands of homeowners and businesses across the U.S.

Don’t let ticks keep you from exploring the great outdoors. Request a free quote at the top of this page, or call us today at 1-855-275-2563. You deserve to enjoy your outdoor spaces without worrying about tick bites. Let Mosquito Joe make the outdoors fun again.


Do Ticks Breed on Dogs?

Ticks might not only carry diseases that may affect you and your pet, but they can also breed on your dog. A tick on your pet can eventually lead to an infestation on your furry friend and in your home. By being vigilant and interrupting the mating cycle, you can help keep your dog happy and healthy.

How Do Ticks Breed?

Ticks can breed quickly and are sometimes hard to spot, making tick infestations such a common problem in tick-prone areas. It can start with your dog when they venture outside or during a walk in a grassy or wooded area. Though the breeding process can vary by tick species, these general steps can take from weeks to months, depending on conditions in your area:

  1. The ticks wait on blades of grass or other plants for a passing host. They can’t jump, so they attach to a host when the animal (usually a small animal such as a rodent) brushes by wherever they’re lying in wait.
  2. The tick feeds on this initial host, sometimes for several days, before dropping to the ground.
  3. The tick molts, becoming a nymph, then lies waiting for a second host. They prefer smaller hosts such as rabbits or raccoons at this stage. They’ll feed, drop to the ground, and molt again, becoming adult ticks.
  4. The tick will wait for a third host. At this stage, they prefer large hosts such as deer and dogs. If they attach to your dog, they will feed, breed if possible, and can even lay eggs on your dog that will hatch into larvae. Those larvae will feed on your dog, and the cycle will begin again.

How Do Dogs Get Ticks?

Some things attract or harbor ticks, and it’s worth keeping them in mind. If you can eliminate these things from your yard, you can reduce the chance that you’ll have a tick problem.

  • Tall grass and overgrown plants: These can harbor ticks and give them easy access to your dog and the rest of your family.
  • Leaf piles: Since these areas are also prime spots for ticks to hide and breed, keeping them clear can reduce the number of spots ticks like to gather.
  • Animal and Bird Feeders: Ticks are often found in areas because they can attach themselves to the rodents who eventually come to eat the birdseed or other feed. They wait for an animal to come by and attach to them while they feed.

Of course, you can’t eliminate every plant in your yard, and rodents are a fact of life in many areas. But getting rid of these more obvious hiding places is a good start.

Related Topic: How to Check Dog for Ticks

What Do Ticks Do to Dogs?

Aside from breeding on your dog, ticks also feed on your dog’s blood, which creates a new set of concerns:

  • Too many ticks feeding on your dog can weaken the dog, causing lethargy and general discomfort.
  • Ticks can carry Lyme disease, which can also infect your family.
  • The breeding cycle can continue, causing a worse infestation over time.

Knowing what to do if your dog has a tick will help mitigate these issues. Checking the dog over regularly, especially along their back, legs, and hind end, is a good idea and will help you spot ticks before they cause too much irritation. Remove them using tweezers and pluck them out as close to the dog’s skin as possible. Be careful when using a tweezer to remove ticks; make sure you completely remove the tick from your dog and that you’re not leaving the tick’s head or part of its body behind. You can also purchase flea and tick repellent sprays to protect your dog.

Do Ticks Lay Eggs on Dogs?

If not found and removed right away, ticks that breed on your dog will sometimes lay eggs on them as well. The larvae that hatch from those eggs have a very convenient feeding source: your dog’s blood. This can affect your dog’s health, and that of your family, in a variety of ways. The easiest way to reduce the risks that come with ticks is to prevent your dog from getting ticks in the first place. While this isn’t easy, it is possible with the help of your neighborhood Mosquito Joe.

Related Topic: How to Remove a Tick from a Dog

Protect Your Dog and Family from Ticks

As ticks continue to extend their habitat across the U.S., the potential for tick and mosquito-borne diseases has also grown. One of the best ways to deal with this potential threat is to take preventative steps to protect your family and your pets. Your local pest control pros at Mosquito Joe can help. We offer traditional and natural barrier sprays that effectively help keep pests, like ticks and mosquitoes away, for up to thirty days. To learn more or to get started, call us at 1-855-275-2563 or schedule an appointment online today.


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.


Do Turkeys Eat Ticks?

With Thanksgiving approaching, you may be thinking more about turkeys than you normally do. And all this thinking about turkeys may have you wondering, “do turkeys eat ticks?”. You can’t find anything about the topic on social media and none of your friends seems to know for sure. Well, don’t worry, we have the answer. 

The answer to this burning question is, YES! Turkeys do eat ticks! Their sharp eyesight and acute hearing make them talented tick gobblers. Both domesticated turkeys and all five subspecies of wild turkeys in the U.S. eat ticks and a cornucopia of other problematic insects. For that, we are truly thankful.  

Learn just what a turkey can do with their practiced pecks.  

How Many Ticks Do Turkeys Eat in One Day?  

A single, full-grown turkey can consume 200 or more ticks per day, under the right conditions. A female turkey can raise a clutch of 4 to 17 poults every year, which means after one year of reproduction, her turkey family (two generations, including her and her mate) could eat up to 3,800 ticks per day, altogether. That’s way more ticks than most other birds consume. All of this gobbling up of ticks helps keep the population from getting too out of control, which can help reduce the spread of tick-borne diseases. 

Can wild turkeys control the tick population?  

Wild turkeys can be beneficial because they eat ticks that are on the ground, in the grass, in low vegetation and even ones on their own bodies during self-grooming. Even though these birds are also tick hosts (i.e., ticks latch onto them), they tend to eliminate more ticks than they spread.  

Turkeys also eat other bugs, mollusks, and small creatures that can be irritating to humans and/or harmful to gardens. These include slugs, stink bugs, grasshoppers, snails, beetles, caterpillars, and small snakes. They also eat praying mantises, which are tick-eaters themselves—but turkeys are better at tick control than any bug ever could be (sorry, praying mantises). 

If you’re interested in attracting wild turkeys to your property, there are several ways to do it. For example, you can create areas for dust baths, scatter food (like cracked corn) on the ground, and create protected nesting sites. Just keep in mind that turkeys will undoubtedly gobble up all your birdseed in the process. They can even be aggressive during mating season.  

Related Topic: Control by Predators: What Animals Eat Ticks?  

Other Birds That Eat Ticks  

All this talking turkey may have you wondering if there are any other birds that eat ticks? Yes, many!  

Here are some other feathered friends known for having ticks on their menu:  

  • Chickens   
  • Guinea fowl 
  • Peafowl 
  • Ducks  
  • Quails 
  • Partridges 
  • Woodpeckers 
  • Egrets 
  • Oxpecker (endemic to Africa) 

These birds are known to seek out ticks as a favored food source. They could be considered true tick predators—especially the oxpecker!  

However, there are many other birds that eat ticks less frequently. Many will eat a tick if they come across one when foraging, so they are not considered true tick predators, like the turkey. Numerous ground-dwelling birds, including smaller songbirds, also fit this description.  

The Battle Against Tick-Borne Illnesses 

Although turkeys and other birds certainly do their part to control the tick population in many areas, they can’t be counted on to do it all. And with tick populations—as well as Lyme disease cases—increasing in many areas of the country due to climate change, it is important to take the job of tick control into your own hands.  

The pros at Mosquito Joe are experts when it comes to controlling pest populations like mosquitoes and ticks. We provide top-notch tick control services that help protect you, your family, and your pets from ticks and Lyme disease. To learn more about our natural barrier sprays or to schedule an appointment call, 1-855-275-2563, or visit us online today!