Tick season is upon us, and everyone is on the lookout for the most dreaded spreader of Lyme disease: the deer tick. Deer ticks are about 3mm in size when full grown, have a brown body and black legs. They also sport a black spot behind their heads.
Now that you can accurately identify the infamous culprits, here are 10 need-to-know facts about deer ticks:
- They don’t all carry Lyme disease. Only those who have fed on mammals may carry the disease.
- While males do attach themselves, only females feed or become engorged.
- Deer ticks live two to three years, feeding only a handful of times during those years.
- They only crawl. You will never find them hopping, swimming or flying.
- They are attracted to humidity. This is why trails are ideal places to find them (and avoid them).
- Adult ticks are most active from spring through fall, as long as the temperatures are above freezing.
- They can transmit six different diseases, not just Lyme.
- The females are bigger than the males.
- One female is capable of laying up to 3,000 eggs.
- Their preferred hosts are white-tailed deer. Humans are considered accidental hosts.
When it comes to deer ticks, prevention is the best method. While it’s true that not all of them carry Lyme disease, it is not a gamble worth taking. Always protect yourself and your kids from potential bites and thoroughly inspect yourselves after every potential encounter.
If you would like to learn more about tick control options for your home, please contact us for a free inspection. We offer residential pest control and commercial pest control for the greater Capital District area including Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga and Rensselaer Counties.