Ticks are the largest and most common in their family of Acarina.
There are two families of ticks that are most common: Hard Ticks and Soft Ticks.
Both feed exclusively on the blood of vertebrates.
All About Ticks
- There are four stages in the life cycle of a tick: Egg, Larva, Nymph, Adult.
- Mating occurs while on the body of the host. The female adult will then drop and deposit her egg sack.
- For Hard Ticks, the adult female will feed only once then lay an egg sack with up to 10,000 or more eggs.
- The Soft Tick, on the other hand, will feed several times and drop egg sacks after each meal containing 20 to 50 eggs.
- Both egg sacks will hatch anywhere from two weeks to a several months.
- Males usually die shortly after mating.
- Ticks can not run, jump, fly, hop or even move quickly at all.
- The most common way a tick finds its way to a host is through grass, weeds, fences and sides of buildings or homes.
- They detect shadows, vibrations and odors from a host which tells them to extend their forelegs in hopes of attaching as it passes.
- Mammals, like dogs, are most commonly the host to ticks. Humans can also be the host for a tick.
- Ticks carry diseases such as: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme Disease, Colorado Tick Fever, Texas Cattle Fever, Typhus, Rickettsial Pox, and more.
- Tick paralysis also threatens humans and animals. This occurs during feeding and develops gradually. It can result in death. Symptoms will disappear rapidly once the tick is removed.
How To Remove Embedded Ticks
It is best that the tick be removed as soon as you take notice. Very steadily, using very fine tipped tweezers, firmly grasp the body of the tick and pull up and away from the skin. Clean the skin with soap and water or even rubbing alcohol.
You must avoid crushing the ticks body! Do not worry if the mouth parts of the tick stay in the skin- as there can be no more transmission of disease bacteria once they are removed from the tick. For safety, and in case you develop any symptoms, you may want place it in a plastic bag and put it in your freezer so it may be used for future testing.
MYTH: DO NOT USE A HOT MATCH, PETROLEUM JELLY, OR NAIL POLISH TO REMOVE A TICK.
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Source: Truman's Scientific Guide to Pest Management Operations- Seventh Edition