Understanding The Tick Life Cycle

Post of Understanding The Tick Life Cycle

It’s important to understand the life cycle of a tick and where they lay their eggs so you can help prevent a tick infestation in your yard. Did you know that a female tick can lay up to several thousand eggs at a time? Not only are ticks a nuisance, but they also cause numerous diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

The tick goes through four separate stages if its life cycle: eggs, larva, nymph and adult. Each of these stages can easily be recognized by its special appearance.

The Life Cycle of a Tick

Stage 1: Eggs
After feeding through some of the winter months and spring, adult females will lay their eggs in protected areas of grass. They can lay over a thousand eggs in their lifetime, and the eggs will normally hatch by summer.

Stage 2: Larvae
Once hatched, the larvae begin searching for a host to feed on. They wait on the tops of leaves and tall grass where pet and human activity are normally high.

Stage 3: Nymph
Once the larvae have eaten, they will drop off the host and transform into an eight-legged nymph. The process will then repeat itself where they look for a host. The nymph may also transmit disease.

Stage 4: Adult
Adult ticks will then go for a third quest, looking for a larger host. Successful adult ticks reproduce during the fall, and the female tick will survive through winter to lay more eggs in the spring. This entire process can take up to three years.

What Does a Tick Nest Look Like?

Unlike other social insects such as ants and bees, ticks do not form a communal colony like a hive or nest. Ticks are more likely to crawl into the burrow or hole of a potential host and lay their eggs there, creating a small, lone “nest.” This provides immediate access to a potential host to which the larvae can latch to and feed upon. Ticks may also opt to lay eggs in leaf litter or grassy areas and, in general, any location that is soft and warm.

What Do Tick Eggs Look Like?

Since a female tick is capable of laying thousands of eggs at once, these eggs are often easier to spot than the ticks themselves. They appear brownish-red in color and are translucent. A brood of eggs may look like miniature caviar. The eggs are not yet infectious and can be dealt with by simply coating with salt to dry out the eggs.

How to Prevent Tick Eggs and Tick Bites In Your Yard

  • Know where ticks hide. Ticks live in tall grass and wooded areas. Hunting, gardening or spending time in your backyard are all activities where you, your family and your pets could pick up ticks.
  • Dress to avoid ticks. Wearing long sleeves and long pants, tucking socks into boots and wearing light-colored clothing can help prevent tick bites.
  • Utilize Mosquito Joe barrier treatments as an added layer of defense. Regular barrier treatments from Mosquito Joe eliminate ticks and give you and your family peace of mind.

Don’t Be Ticked Off This Season

To add an extra layer of defense against your outdoor space, contact your local Mosquito Joe today to enjoy a bite-free yard! We have special services that add against ticks and other pests, so let us help you protect yourself and your family throughout the year.

Certain types of mulch can help keep ticks away from your home. Learn more about what mulch does from the landscaping experts at The Grounds Guys, a fellow Neighborly® home service brand.