Ticks are not a sight that anyone wants to see, whether it’s in their home, on themselves, or on their pets. People and pets can unknowingly pick up these pesky parasites while walking through tall grass and other areas of heavy vegetation where conditions are moist.
If you’re wondering how long ticks live, keep reading to learn more about these unwelcome guests and how to identify them.
How to Identify Ticks
Since ticks can enter a home via their carrier, it’s important to correctly identify them. Ticks are small, blood-sucking arachnids that can transmit diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Here are some key characteristics of ticks:
- Shape: Ticks have a flat, teardrop, or oval shape.
- No wings: Unlike insects, ticks do not have wings.
- Eight legs: As arachnids, ticks possess eight legs; however, their larvae only have six.
- Growth after feeding: After ingesting blood, ticks can grow in size and appear more bulbous than flat.
If you have a pet that spends time outdoors, make sure to check them regularly for ticks and consult your veterinarian about preventative treatments.
How Long Do Ticks Live (Without Food)?
Ticks can survive for varying lengths of time without a blood meal, depending on their species. Let’s explore the lifespan of some common tick species:
- American Dog Ticks: These ticks can live up to two years without feeding. Additionally, unfed American Dog Tick larvae can live up to over a year.
- Blacklegged (Deer) Tick: Adult deer ticks may survive for several months without food, however, it depends on the environment as they thrive in moist areas.
- Brown Dog Tick: This species is known to endure up to 18 months unfed. Brown Dog Tick nymphs can live for 3 months without attaching to a host.
- Lone Star Tick: Lone Star ticks have been observed living for several months without sustenance.
It’s important to note that while ticks can survive for extended periods without feeding, they will eventually need a blood meal to progress through their life cycle. The life cycle of a tick includes four stages: egg, larva, nymph, and adult.
The adult female tick lays eggs, which hatch into tick larvae. The larvae feed on a host, molt into nymphs, and then feed on another host. After feeding, the nymphs molt into adult ticks. Adult female ticks then feed on a host, mate, and lay eggs, starting the cycle anew.
While most people and their pets bring ticks in from the outdoors, ticks can hatch eggs inside. Some common areas where tick infestations occur include near baseboards, furniture, and rugs.
There are many myths surrounding ticks, including the idea that they only live for a few days or weeks. Understanding the life stages and lifespans of tick species can help you better protect yourself and your pets from tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease. Stay vigilant and take precautions when spending time in tick-prone areas, especially during peak tick season (spring and summer).
Ticks can endure a lengthy period without sustenance, so it is essential to be wary of them entering your living space. Fortunately, Romney Pest Control offers a variety of services that can help you get rid of ticks and other pests quickly and effectively.
Call Romney Pest Control to Get Rid of Ticks
If you find a tick in your home, on yourself, or on your pets, give Romney Pest Control a call. We can help you properly identify the type of tick, determine if you have an infestation, and create a prevention plan that works best for you.
With our top-of-the-line treatments and prompt service, you can enjoy your indoor and outdoor living areas worry-free.