Ticks are mistakenly considered to be insects, but actually, they refer to arachnids. The study of ticks is related to such a section of zoology as acarology. According to scientists, there are over 54,000 species of these tiny arachnids in the world.
But every year, the number of species is increasing, thanks to new discoveries and research. Ticks cause great harm to humans and animals. Ticks are often the carriers of infectious diseases dangerous for humans, domestic, and wild animals.
The bite of a tick can cause serious consequences. The fact is that ticks are often the carriers of infections that can lead to death. These are Lyme disease, West Nile fever, tularemia. The most detrimental thing that can occur after the bite is tick-borne encephalitis, an acute viral disease that affects the central nervous system.
Initially, the infected person feels weakness, irritability, slight headache. And in just a few days the body temperature rises to 40 degrees, followed by migraines, vomiting, and dizziness.
Not all ticks carry Lyme disease. The typical carrier of borreliosis is the so-called deer tick (Ixodes scapularis). To know what they look like, find pictures of baby ticks on the Internet.
Interesting facts about ticks
- The smallest tick in the world is only 0.08 mm long.
- Three adult ticks, if put together, will look like a dot at the end of a sentence.
- At birth, a tick is not a carrier of dangerous infections, it acquires them later. Ticks become dangerous after consuming the blood of birds or mammals that carry the bacterium.
- A female tick is able to eat 100 times more food than a male. After such a rich meal, the female can increase in size by 150 times.
What Does a Tick Look Like?
The tick is small. Adult insects are up to 3 cm in size, but most species are 1.5 cm or smaller. All ticks are parasitic. Their color and body shape may change after blood supply. Blood makes ticks increase in size. Blood goes directly into their intestine during suction. As a result, the weight of the tick increases several times.
The gut is made up of many chambers and therefore is able to stretch so that a replete tick can weigh up to 200 times more than a hungry one. Ticks usually have 4 pairs of legs, and eyes may be present or absent. Some ticks are round, others are flat.
Where Does a Tick Live?
Ticks live in ordinary parks, forests, and in the green areas near lakes. Most people mistakenly think that ticks can be met only in dense forests with shrubs. But, according to statistics, most of the post-bite hits are recorded among the urban residents who return from the local parks after the daily walks through the streets of trees.
You can also find a tick near a country house. Most victims do not feel when they are being bitten as the tick releases anesthetic fluid. The tick can crawl on the human body even in the apartment as you can bring it with a bouquet of flowers or it was on the wool of a pet that came from the walk. It can attack you in transport if the tick was on the clothes of other people returning from the forest.
Ticks life cycle
Like all arachnids, ticks have a clear division into females and males. The most interesting life cycle is monitored in bloodsucking species. The following stages of tick development are distinguished:
Types of ticks
Wood Tick Nests
You may come across some contradicting information on the Internet. Tick eggs can be found, but it is extremely difficult because of their size. Scientists are warning you will not notice tick eggs in grass.
You are more likely to find eggs of slugs, snails, spiders, insects, but these are not tick nests (although they are close relatives of spiders). Do not destroy the eggs of insects, as they may belong to an important species for the ecosystem of this region. There are plenty of tick nest images on the web, here you can check some of them.
A wood tick is a blood-sucking parasite of a small size, up to 4 mm in length (see photo), which, after getting on an animal or human skin, finds a suitable area and digs into it.
Females usualy stays on the humans body at least for six days, and males 3-4 days. During this period, due to blood saturation, the body of the parasite can increase in size by 120 times. At the same time, the victim will not feel the bite of the wood tick directly, and all thanks to the parsites saliva, which negates the sensitivity of pain receptors.
Because of this that it is not possible to detect a tick on your body immediately.
Wooden Ticks live, contrary to popular belief, not in trees, but in grass. They are usually located at a height of up to one meter. Ticks like to hide on the back of the leaf. They conduct wait-and-see tactics: as soon as the opportunity arises, they will immediately move to clothes and, rising up, will try to find a bare skin area.
In the spring or late summer, saturated with the blood, the fertile female tick lays eggs, and their amount may reach 2.5-3 thousand. What do tick eggs look like? They are a large enough cell, consisting of a nucleus and cytoplasm, and also covered with a two-layer shell of different colors. Tick eggs come in many shapes, from oval to square, flattened and elongated.
Ticks lay eggs in places with vegetation. They may choose cracks formed in the ground, especially if they are near the animal’s resting place. As soon as the eggs hatch, the house and animals may be affected by the invasion. The tick can lay 3000-7000 eggs, which is a rather disturbing figure.
How many babies do ticks have?
The eggs with baby ticks are laid in the ground. The larvae that emerged from the egg eat just once, usually on small mammals (rodents, insects). Then it falls to the ground, sheds, and enters the next stage (nymph). After feeding and molting, it turns into an adult. A few thousand baby ticks are born from one tick nest.
How to Protect Against Ticks?
The most effective remedies are repellents. These are special sprays for children and adults, which are applied to outerwear and deter ticks.
You can also try folk remedies to keep ticks away:
- Ticks do not like the smell of geraniums and lavender, you can put some springs of these plants in the pocket, going to the forest;
- The intense scent of essential oils are also able to deter ticks;
- When visiting densely populated areas, it is advisable to wear long-sleeved clothing and pants instead of shorts;
- Prefer running shoes or shoes that protect the foot, as well as light colors of clothing where the tick is more noticeable;
- Wear socks and caps;
- Prefer walking paths away from shrubs and dense trees;
- Use insect repellent spray;
- After returning home, check for ticks on the body, clothing, and pets you have been on a walk with;
- 2-4 weeks after the tick bite it is worth to visit a doctor for inspection.
When to see a doctor after a tick bite?
If you are bitten by a tick, it is advisable to see a doctor as soon as possible! He knows better how to remove it! Be sure to consult your doctor immediately if you have one of these symptoms after a tick bite:
- the bitten area became red and has been increasing;
- part of the tick remains under the skin;
- any type of rash on the body;
- general indisposition;
- high temperature.
Symptoms can develop even after 1.5 months!
Interesting facts about ticks
- The smallest tick has a size of 0.08 mm. That is why this subspecies is listed in the Guinness Book of Records.
- If you take 3 adults, whose size does not exceed 0.2 mm, they will look like a dot, which is usually put at the end of the sentence.
- Ticks that are part of the superfamily Argasidae have an unusual phenomenon called omovampirism.
- Tick-borne encephalitis virus, as well as some other arboviruses, bacteria and rickettsia can be transmitted transovarially. This means that an infected tick lays infected eggs, passing the disease to its offspring.
- Females of the ixodid species of ticks eat a hundred times more food than a male. As a result, an individual becomes 150 times larger than a hungry one.
- Ticks are able to lay completely unfertilized eggs, from which offspring subsequently appear. This is called parthenogenesis, this factor makes it possible to continue the genus even in the absence of a sexual partner.
- An adult tick easily tolerates a complete lack of food for two years, and such a hunger strike does no harm to the parasite.
Frequently asked questions
Finding a tick nest in your garden is not the funniest thing to happen. Those insects can be dangerous, and many people wonder how to get rid of them once and for all safely and fast.
Ticks are a great problem both for people and pets during these pests’ season. That is why it is so essential to know how to define the tick nest and to be able to tell the difference between it and some harmless objects.
Ticks may happen to become a disaster once being found on you or your pet. Unfortunately, people happen to be poorly informed about these insects and how to deal with them correctly. Below you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding this topic.
What do Ticks Look Like?
At first ticks are small, but when it gets some blood, it increases several times. Look at this tick on the hand.
Do ticks fly?
Ticks don’t fly and don’t jump, they wait for their victims on grass and branches of bushes. Not only people can be bitten by ticks, but also domestic animals, which, become bitten quite often, and can be carriers of tick-borne infections.
How many legs do ticks have?
The tick has 8 legs
How big are ticks?
The length of ticks is usually 0.2-0.4 mm
How to Burn a Tick Nest?
If you found a tick nest in your garden or yard, you can burn it with any flammable liquid like gas or barbeque liquid fuel. Also, to remove the ticks from the grass, attach a wide white cloth (1×1 meter) to the stick and drag it through the grass. Then turn it upside down and see if there are any ticks on the below side of it. It there are, burn the cloth immediately.
How Big Is a Tick Nest?
Its normal size is about the size of two grown-up female ticks and its color is reddish-brown.
Do Ticks Nest In Houses?
Normally, ticks live outside as they find food in the wildlife and are not interested in getting inside the human dwellings. However, if you have pets that tend to wander around in the woods and then come indoor or you have mice, rats or raccoons visiting your home, then there is a chance to get ticks inside your house.
Where to Find a Tick Nest?
Ticks prefer long grass and low bushes as they live not far from the soil, about one meter high only. To spot a tick nest, inspect the long grass, thick low bushes, piles of old leaves, and any moist and humid place.
How to Identify a Tick Nest?
It’s easy to mistaken a tick nest to a frog’s nest. However, there is a couple of significant differences.
Ticks nest is very small, better to say tiny. Its size is as big as the size of two adult female ticks which is slightly bigger than a poppy seed. Also, its color is brown or reddish-brown but not black, gray or any other.
Can a Tick Nest Be Found In a Yard?
Ticks prefer to live in a place with high humidity, where it is dark and shady. Long grass and thick low bushes are also their favorites. So, if you find out that you do have such spots in your yard, make sure you carefully inspect them for any tick nests.
However, it would be wiser to call professionals to do that as tick nests are extremely tiny and you may simply not notice them.
Do Ticks Lay Eggs?
Yes, they do, otherwise, there will be no ticks on earth (that would be great, right?). Laying eggs is the way ticks reproduce. Normally, ticks lay eggs in spring, so if you want to clear your garden from them, call for pest control during that time.
Does Seed Look Like a Tick Nest?
Some people may mistaken ticks nest to a small seed, indeed, as it is very tiny. The average nest is hardly bigger than a poppy seed!
Where Can Tick Egg Sacks Be Found?
Ticks reproduce either on the ground or on the grass and brunches of low bushes. Their nests can also often be found along the tracks and paths, so be careful when walking along the forest in spring!
How to Kill Tick Eggs?
If you are sure that what you found is really a ticks nest, it is better to burn it. However, as long as people ofter mistake those sacks with something else, better call the pest control to arrive and take care of your garden and home.
Can Ticks Lay Eggs On Humans?
Fortunately, ticks never lay their eggs on humans or any other living beings because tick females can lay eggs only after they have detached from its host.
However, if the tick detached from you or your pet inside the house and lay eggs there, that may be a problem.
Do ticks have wings?
Ordinary ticks does not have them. But some insects like a deer tick or moose botfly. Quite vile and tenacious, very similar to a tick (a tick, however, is not an insect), and have wings.
Tick nest looks like berries. Is it true?
Not exactly. Ticks are very small as you know, and the size of a female insect is a bit more than three millimeters. Respectively, their nests are also tiny, only a bit bigger than the female tick size.
So they can hardly remind any existing berries.
Can tick nest be found in the Christmas tree?
Ticks are active during a certain period of time which may vary depending on the particular species. According to their life cycle, these insects lay eggs in late autumn so that the tick eggs will emerge in summer. Also, ticks can be active even in winter if the temperature is above seven degrees Celsius!
As long as ticks and tick larvae are crawling on the ground and can climb to the low vegetation, they are possible to find on the lower branches of the Christmas tree.
For that reason, use Christmas trees that were grown in the special forestries where they are prevented from ticks invasion. Otherwise, it is required to use pesticides on your tree.
How to destroy a tick nest
The best way to destroy a tick nest is to use so-called tick tubes.
Simply take an open-ended cardboard tube and fill it with cotton pretreated with pesticide permethrin.
When mice and other rodents take that cotton to their nests, the poison will remain on their fur killing the ticks and preventing them from expanding.
What does a tick nest look like in Canada?
Tick nest looks the same in any country even despite the fact that different kinds of ticks could make it. It is very small, a bit more than three millimeters of size, and has a reddish-black color. It looks like a very small caviar a bit.
What does a tick nest look like in UK?
Ticks that dwell in the UK make nests that are slightly bigger than ⅛ inch and have a black-and-red color or they can also be translucent. Some may find them somewhat similar to very small caviar.
What chemicals will kill larval tick nest?
To say goodbye to the ticks in your yard and garden, use one of the following methods.
Either make a tick tube out of an open-ended cardboard tube with some cotton inside that has been soaked with the pesticide permethrin or apply one of the recommended tick sprays like Bifenthrin or, as an option, buy a special botanical mixture with 10% rosemary oil.
What is the tick nest size?
Normally, the average tick nest is slightly bigger than the female tick which means that its size will be a bit more than three millimeters.
Where are tick nests found?
Ticks lay their eggs on the ground, in the grass or on the sides of the paths. So stay away from any of those when going for a walk in the nearest wood.