Even though you might not have seen a tick yet this season, that doesn’t mean they are not out there. Ticks are tiny disease-carrying creatures. Even when they are considered to be in the adult stage of their life cycle, they remain hard to identify. Since ticks do go through three different phases during their life, it is important to know what to expect when protecting yourself against them. The deer tick is probably the most well-known of all species of ticks. The deer tick is solely responsible for the spread of Lyme Disease here in the US, and is a known vector of other diseases such as Babesiosis and Anaplasmosis. Here in New Hampshire the deer tick is a primary threat to both people and pets in causing tick-borne illnesses. With this in mind, Mosquito Squad of Southern NH is helping to not only protect residents from the threat of this disease ridden invader, but to also make residents more aware of the tick itself.
The deer tick can live up to two years and during that time will undergo three separate cycles. It takes about two years for the tick to hatch from the egg, go through all three stages, reproduce, and then die. The stages of a deer tick’s life cycle are larva, nymph and adult. Like all species of ticks, deer ticks require a blood meal to progress to each successive stage in their life cycles. It is a little known fact that a newborn deer tick is actually born free of disease and only through feeding off of animals already infected with the bacterium that causes Lyme disease will they become a carrier. The irony here is that the when the larva initially become infected it is because their host is already infected from a previous bite from a tick which was infected with Lyme Disease; in most cases the initial host is a rodent.
In our neck of the woods, most deer ticks are presently in the nymph stage of their life cycle. We begin to see nymphal activity beginning in May. According to The American Lyme Disease Foundation, “Host-seeking nymphs wait on vegetation near the ground for a small mammal or bird to approach. The nymph will then latch on to its host and feed for four or five days, engorging with blood and swelling to many times its original size. If previously infected during its larval stage, the nymph may transmit the Lyme disease spirochete to its host. If not previously infected, the nymph may become infected if its host carries the Lyme disease spirochete from previous infectious tick bites. In highly endemic areas of the northeast and upper Midwest, 25% of nymphs have been found to harbor the Lyme disease spirochete”. The peak time for humans to come into contact with potentially infected nymph ticks is late May through July. This is the period where the most human infection occurs. Nymphs are about the size of a poppy seed, and often go unnoticed until fully engorged, and are therefore responsible for nearly all human Lyme Disease cases.
The important thing to remember is that even though the nymph deer tick is so tiny, it can really pack a punch in perpetuating Lyme Disease. Research indicates that a tick must remain attached from 24-36 hours in order to pass the bacteria responsible for causing Lyme onto us. A tiny tick is more likely to be completely overlooked than a more mature tick and therefore is likely to remain attached longer. The fact that the tick is so small at this time places the impetus on protecting your yard to reduce the risk of infection because it is difficult to protect yourself otherwise.
The danger of the nymph stage of the tick is not to underscore the potential of adult ticks to spread disease. All sizes of ticks carry the capability to spread disease and for this reason it is important to exercise common sense when venturing into unprotected areas. To stay fully protected at your home we recommend utilizing a tick intensive control and prevention program to reduce the risk of coming into contact with a potentially infected tick in the first place. Our barrier spray and tick trap program will eliminate most of the ticks in your yard for the entire season. Removing the source of the disease is the best way to stay healthy and happy this season. Your own yard is where you and your loved ones will spend the most time so the first step in tick protection is protecting your yard by creating a shield through our barrier spray program.
We combine effective barrier sprays that kill adult ticks with tick traps (for nymph ticks) to interrupt the life cycle of the tick eliminating it before it has a chance to spread infection to you. We’ve had great success with our tick trap program which can reduce the chance of coming into contact with a tick on your treated property by up to 97%. Statistics like this are hard to beat.
If you want to learn more about keeping the most important people in your life protected from the tick that could potentially give them Lyme disease, contact Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire today. Call us today for a free quote • (603) 373 – 8863 • email: firstname.lastname@example.org