Seed Ticks

Seed Tick Control: Protect Your Home or Business

Facts

  • These pests need to eat several blood meals throughout their lives.
  • Seed ticks aren’t actually a species, but rather the larval stage that all ticks go through before reaching maturity.
  • Generally, seed ticks are most active in the summer after a period of dormancy.

Appearance

Around the size of a grain of sand, seed ticks are the first stage of development for all ticks in the mid-Atlantic region. They emerge from their eggs with only six legs as opposed to adults that have eight. Colors range from black to brown, and these pests look similar to their mature counterparts.

How Do Seed Ticks Get Inside Buildings?

Most of the time, these pests get into homes by hitching a ride on either people or pets. They can also come in on rodents like squirrels, rats, and mice. Seed ticks wait on the edges of plants, low branches, or leaves until a host passes through. Once attached, a seed tick can stay put for 24 to 48 hours while it takes its blood meal. Lawns with tall grass or houses near the forest run an increased risk of tick infestations.

Hotels and schools located near wooded areas are also vulnerable to seed ticks. Companies with pet-friendly policies, like apartment complexes or groomers, are also more likely to see these pests. For breeding, seldom-used cabins work well due to the low humidity and infrequent disturbances.

Signs of a Seed Tick Infestation

  • Sighting – Spotting tiny seed ticks that resemble a poppyseed on your body is a sign that you have a problem.
  • Bites and Rashes – You might not see a live seed tick, but you may notice a small red mark, a scabbed-over bump, or a bullseye rash.
  • Sick Pets – Look for the symptoms of tick-borne illnesses in cats and dogs, including a lack of energy and appetite, a fever, and movements that indicate stiff joints.
  • Eggs – Upon a close inspection, you can find clusters of eggs in carpeting and along baseboards.

Problems Caused by Seed Ticks

Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and babesiosis are just a few of the diseases these pests can spread. Seed ticks pick up bacteria or tiny parasites from rodents and small mammals and pass them on to their next host. Early detection is very important since it takes one to two days for them to transmit pathogens.

Outdoor businesses, like landscaping and garden centers, run a higher risk of seed ticks. Additionally, workers who handle wildlife, such as park rangers or veterinary staff, may also become hosts. This can lead to liability for a company if an employee or customer gets a dangerous infection.

Prevention Tips

The best way to prevent these pests from getting into your building is to avoid them as much as possible. Treat your pets with flea and tick preventatives. In addition, wear light-colored pants and long-sleeved shirts when outside for protection. If you think you have a seed tick infestation, call Western Pest Services and speak to a professional about control.

Author: Western Pest Services