The Life Cycle of Ticks

life cycle of ticksTicks are a nuisance, and they can carry a number of diseases. In order to understand the best way to treat and prevent ticks, it is important to understand the life cycle of ticks. Ticks have four different stages and can live up to three years. At each stage, the tick will need to consume blood in order to continue to develop.

Eggs

The tick life cycle begins as eggs. A Female will lay up to 4000 eggs at time. Some ticks will lay of all their eggs at once, while others lay them is several smaller batches. The eggs are usually laid in the spring and will hatch at some point during the late spring and early summer.

Larvae

When the ticks first hatch they are referred to as larvae. These are very small ticks and may be difficult to see if they attach themselves to you. Tick larvae only have six legs instead of the eight that the adults have. The larvae will need to feed on blood so that they can mature. If they cannot find a host they will eventually die. Larvae are also known as seed ticks, and most people will not notice them unless they find several in a group.

Nymph

A nymph occurs after the first feeding and molting of the tick larvae. A nymph will have eight legs like an adult tick, but it is still much smaller than the adults. Some species of ticks will look for larger hosts as they get bigger, while others will stick to the same host throughout their life cycle. However, ticks are opportunists and may feed on your or your pet at any stage. Once the nymphs feed, they will molt their shell and grow. Some ticks will only do this once, while other ticks will need to do it several times—they must feed before each molting. Many ticks will not mature into nymphs until the fall.

Adult

Once ticks reach adulthood—often by the spring following their hatching, they will need to feed and then mate. The female ticks tend to feed more in part so they have more protein for laying their eggs. After laying the eggs, the female tick will die and then the cycle begins again.

Ticks will contract a disease if they attach to a host that already have it. They will pass it on to their next host when they bit and their saliva mixes with the blood of the host. It is best to prevent ticks from maturing. The experts at Mosquito Tek can apply a treatment to your yard that will eliminate the ticks at any stage. It is possible to enjoy time in your yard without worrying about bug repellent for you and your family members. This spray can also help protect your pets from contracting ticks in your yard. Contact Mosquito Tek to learn more about tick treatments available for your yard.

Find out about the 3 Ticks in Virginia and the Diseases They Cause