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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Fornal

Tick Awareness Week-May 8-14

It's Tick Awareness Week!

Are you aware of the life cycle of a tick?

Ticks have four life stages: egg, six-legged larva, eight-legged nymph and adult. In order to progress to successive life stages, ticks must successfully feed on a host (also known as having a blood meal).

Tick eggs are often laid in the spring after female ticks complete their two to three-year life span. After the egg hatches, the tiny larva (sometimes called a “seed tick”) feeds on an appropriate host. Ticks do not hatch with any diseases or infections, however the smaller animals that they typically feed on at this stage of their life can carry disease-causing pathogens.

The larva then develops (molts) into the larger nymph. The nymph feeds on a host , at this stage ticks may seek out larger hosts such as deer, raccoons and, yes, even humans. The tick then molts into an even larger adult. Ticks are still tiny and may be infected at this point.

After feeding, nymphs will transition into adults. During this final stage of their life, they will again seek out a blood meal as females in particular prepare to reproduce. During the both the nymph and adult phases, ticks can seek out humans as their hosts and possibly transmit disease(s). Adult females who have mated will then lay thousands of eggs during the spring before dying soon after, as a new generation of ticks begin their life cycle.

Check out the video below, both the video and info courtesy of the NPMA.

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