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It Is the Season of the Larva Tick in Massachusetts

Author: Mosquito Squad of Franklin & Framingham

Larva Season… is that anything like Deer Season? No, it’s not. If we could shoot them, tick control might become much easier! Larval is the second life stage of the tick. First, they are born as eggs, they hatch into larvae, take their first blood meal and molt into nymphs, take another blood meal to become adults. The adult female lays eggs and the process starts again.

Between July and September is when the larvae of black-legged ticks (deer ticks) become active. They hatch in moist leafy areas and are tiny: the size of a poppy seed. While these tiny ticks will latch onto certain birds, medium to large mammals and even you if the opportunity arises, they prefer smaller hosts. Their favorite is white footed mice. Once they choose their host they will hold on about 3 days… until they are “full”. Then they drop off and molt into the nymph stage of the tick life cycle. This is the blood meal during which a tick is most likely to become infected with Lyme, so the larvae are usually not carriers of disease.

So if they don’t carry disease why do we even care about this stage? The truth is that ticks are just gross. They are a nuisance. And at this tiny stage, you or your pet could end up covered in them. Remember: there are ways to protect yourself:

  • Wear light colored clothes when in areas where ticks are likely present
  • Use repellent
  • Throw clothes in the dryer for 10 minutes when you return home
  • Use duct tape or a lint roller to pull small ticks from your clothing… WE LOVE THIS ONE
  • Follow the 6Cs of tick proofing your yard.

At Mosquito Squad of Franklin & Framingham, we want to go one step further and stop the cycle. We want to eliminate larval ticks, who typically become infected with Lyme and other tick-borne diseases from their white-footed mouse hosts, emerging as nymphs to spread diseases. Let us tell you how the combination of our barrier treatment and tick tube systems can do that. Call today!