KNOW THIS ABOUT TICKS
The two types of ticks common in Massachusetts are the deer tick and the dog tick. The deer tick is the carrier for Lyme Disease. However, evidence shows that in order for infection to take place the tick normally needs to bite and feed for at least 36 hours. Despite the name, deer ticks are more easily spread throughout a yard by field mice.
Ticks thrive in a warm and humid climate. The species is around 100 million years old and their average lifespan can be up to 2 years.
Birds are a primary mode of transportation for ticks as they carry the parasites with them on migratory flights.
Ticks hunt for their hosts by “questing.” They find a perch at the height comparable to their desired host and hold up their four front legs. Through detecting odors, carbon dioxide, vibrations, and body heat, they choose their space and wait for hosts to pass by. However, ticks cannot jump and they must make contact in order to latch on.
Ticks fit into the ecosystem by being fed on by mites and nematodes. Birds also eat them. Chickens love them.
Ticks have a serrated mouthpart that causes the pain of removing them by pulling straight back. It is best to “unscrew” them from yourself and your pets to ensure that their mandible does not get stuck under the skin.
Ticks can breathe under water.