Tick Season Has ArrivedTick Tock! It’s time to get ready for tick season. Our monthly exterior tick and mosquito service can make your yard a happier place. Now that spring temperatures have finally arrived, nature is on the move again and an unfortunate side-effect of warmer temperatures includes the resurgence of pesky blood-suckers like mosquitoes and ticks. Not only are tick and mosquito bites a nuisance, they can also transmit various diseases.
Unlike mosquitoes, ticks are not insects; they are actually related to spiders, mites and scorpions (in the class Arachnida). There are many species of ticks, but the most infamous is the deer tick (aka the blacklegged tick) due to its ability to transmit Lyme disease. Deer ticks have a 2-year lifecycle, which begins when the adult female lays eggs in the spring. The eggs hatch into extremely small 6-legged larvae during the summer, which feed on small mammals and birds before molting into 8-legged nymphs. The nymphs hibernate when the temperatures drop below freezing, waiting for warmer days to become active and find a new host, usually a large mammal such as a deer or a person. Once the nymphs have fed, they drop off their hosts, molt into adults and look for a third host on which to feed and find a mate. These mated females over-winter and wait until spring to begin the cycle again with egg-laying.Tick populations closely follow the populations of their hosts. Where there are large populations of deer and mice, there is typically a concurrent increase in tick populations.
Ticks frequent certain areas to wait for their hosts, typically along trail edges or the edges of woods and fields (known as “ecotones”). Host-finding behavior is known as “questing,” where tick nymphs and adults climb up plants located along the edges of these ecotone areas. There they wait with their front legs outstretched, waiting for you or a deer to brush past so that they can get a ride and a blood meal. Although we like to think that ticks are only active during the warmer months, they can actually resume questing during the colder months on days where the temperatures are above freezing. To reduce the number of ticks encountered in one’s yard, Home Paramount focuses our treatment for ticks into these areas where we know ticks frequent. Call us today to learn more about our tick and mosquito program!