04 Aug August is Peak Season for Ticks
It is August and that means the peak of tick season! Ticks are active from early spring through late fall and even on warm winter days. However, the CDC says that most people encounter ticks in spring and fall.
Ticks lay eggs that hatch throughout the warm months, peaking in early spring and late summer. They go through four stages of life (egg, larvae, nymph, and adult).
First the larvae hatch from eggs. These are called seed ticks. These larvae only have 6 legs and will usually find a small host for their first blood meal. The host is often a mouse or other small rodent, where the tick picks up the diseases, they carry to humans.
Falling off, the larvae wait to go through their first molt where eight legs emerge. This is the nymph stage. Nymphs tend to look for larger hosts like groundhogs, opossums, and rabbits. They will attach to humans if they happen to pass by.
The nymph can carry diseases we fear such as Lyme, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis. After a second blood meal, the nymph also falls to the ground and molts to emerge as an adult.
Adults live to feed and mate, which can take place on their larger hosts. Females fall to the ground and lay several thousand eggs to start the cycle all over again. Females may survive the winter while males tend to die off.
All stages of the tick’s life need warmth and moisture. Keep areas free of debris and keep shaded areas as dry as possible to discourage them. Put down mulch as a border to keep ticks in areas that cannot be maintained such as woods or forests. Use a tick application in areas where children and pets frequent and tick tubes if you have stone walls or brushy areas where ticks may hide.
A Video of a Hedgehog with a female tick.