Everyone loves summer. Playing outdoors, exploring nature, hiking – it has everything. If only it were so simple. Unfortunately, summertime also means that ticks are coming out in droves, hiding in tall grass and wooden areas looking for a new host. We all know them, and we all hate them, but there are few things you might not know about these notorious pests. Here are 5 surprising tick facts:
- Ticks are not actually insects
You would be in the majority if you thought that ticks are insects, but they are actually classified as arachnids, which makes them a species that is much more similar to spiders, mites and scorpions, than to fleas, bed bugs or cockroaches. If you take a closer look at a tick, you will notice that it has 8 legs, no antennae, and that it resembles a spider.
- Some ticks can survive without feeding… for years
Ticks can only survive by feeding on blood. That is a very limited diet. To compensate for this some species will be able to live without feeding for years. Depending on its developmental stage, a tick can live anywhere from 540 days to 2 years without feeding. At each stage of development however, a tick will need to feed in order to molt.
- Ticks cannot jump, fly or run
Ticks have no ability to jump or fly on their victims, neither can they chase them. Instead, they wait in the tall grass, hitching their back legs to the plants, and extending their front legs waiting for their prey. That ability to survive without feeding for 2 years starts to make a lot of sense now, doesn’t it?
- Ticks will lay thousands of eggs at a time
After adult ticks finish feeding they will go on to mate. A female tick is able to lay anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000 eggs, usually in sheltered areas inside walls, under rocks or inside wood piles. Thousands of larva will hatch from these eggs and they will need to feed in order to reach the nymph stage. Male ticks will usually die after mating with one or several females, and females will die after laying their eggs.
- They do just fine in the freezing cold
Certain species of ticks can bear freezing temperatures just fine. They will usually find a shelter under some litter, stay hydrated, and just wait for winter to pass. As the temperatures start to go up again, they will climb onto high vegetation and wait for their next host.
Have you noticed a tick infestation on your property?
If you have been bitten by a tick, and you suspect that there may be an infestation on your property, it’s best to call a pest control specialist. The specialist will be able to find and remove the ticks, and make your yard safe again for activity. For more information about pest control services, contact us today.