As spring arrives, people and animals begin to venture outside to enjoy the warmer weather. Throughout much of the country, immature ticks also begin to take advantage of host activity and use the opportunity to ‘quest’ for a host. They will climb up to the top of tall grasses and extend their legs up and out in search of a suitable host. When a dog, deer, or person brushes by them, the tick will grasp on and dig their mouthparts under the skin for a blood meal.
Once fully engorged, in which a tick can feed up to 200-600x its body weight, most ticks will drop off the host, digest their food and molt into the next life stage. Once molted, the tick will resume questing behavior in search of its next blood meal to further complete development, usually taking 3-4 different hosts until it reaches adulthood.
Ticks transmit many serious diseases, like Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. Remember to always check yourself thoroughly after spending time outdoors and use repellents especially if you were out amongst tall grasses and vegetation. Call our office at (973) 697-7979 if you suspect a problem or would like more information.