As spring arrives, most people can’t wait to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather. Of course, we humans are not the only ones with this mindset. Throughout much of the country, immature ticks use this opportunity to ‘quest’ for a host. This means that they will climb up to the top of tall grasses and hold their legs up toward the sky. When a dog, deer, or person brushes by them, the tick will hold on tight and stay on the host until they’ve consumed a full meal … of blood! Ticks have 4 life stages, egg, larva, nymph and adult. In order to move from one life stage to the next, they have to consume blood from a host. Ticks are categorized by the number of hosts they need to complete their life cycle and most require 3 or 4. Once fully engorged, which can mean a tick weighs 200-600 times what it did before the meal, a tick will drop off of the host, digest its food and molt. Once molted (and now hungry again!), the tick will resume questing behavior.
Remember to always check yourself thoroughly after spending time outdoors, especially if you were out amongst tall grasses and vegetation. Ticks, especially immature ones, can be hard to see so you may need someone to help inspect. If you have pets that venture outdoors, be sure to inspect them too! If you have been feeling ill or uncharacteristically weak and tired, seek medical advice as you may have contracted a tick-borne illness like Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Tick management is not always straightforward but you can reduce tick numbers on your property by keeping your lawn short. If you have any questions about ticks or tick management, please give us a call for the latest technical information.
If you are having pest issues, Arrest-A-Pest can give you a free estimate. Feel free to call us at 919-845-3438 or visit us at www.ArrestAPestNC.com