If you flush a tick down your toilet you can consider it gone.
Not necessarily, but it is for all intents and purposes gone from your home for good.
We have heard and read about people who wondered and/or were worried about ticks holding their breath for days and days as they swim back up your pipes and climb up your slippery porcelain bowl and latch right on for a blood meal. So, we searched and searched and searched and could find no instance of ticks crawling back up the toilet once flushed, or up the toilet on their own accord. Since we could not find reliable evidence of this actually happening we dug a little deeper and here is what we found:
TICKS CANNOT SWIM OR HOLD THEIR BREATH
According to tick encounter, ticks definitely do not swim. However, they have observed ticks submerged in water for 2-3 days that still lived, but there has been no formal research on whether they can actually hold their breath.
Since they do NOT swim, they can’t swim up your drain and climb out if you have indeed flushed them down. If you decide to flush them, just make sure they actually go in the water and down the hole. It is important to note that when ticks latch on to a host they typically climb up looking for a nice warm hiding spot to latch onto for their blood meal. It is understandable to assume up is the direction they would crawl if they did happen to land on the porcelain and not go down the pipes. That is if the porcelain is not too slippery.
While we don’t want to be accused of defending ticks, it is important to clear up myths and misinformation about our buddy the tick. So we would like to classify the “tick climbing out of the toilet” story as an urban legend.
We would also like to note that putting a tick into a sealed container with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol is a great way to hang on to a tick for further testing should symptoms of a tick-borne illness present themselves.
WHAT CAN CLIMB UP THE TOILET?
During our research we found some things that absolutely can find their way into your pipes and climb right up and out of your toilet. Water loving amphibious creatures like frogs, lizards, and snakes have been known to find their way up toilet pipes. It was also surprising to read headlines of a baby opossum and a squirrel ending up in the porcelain throne, which I am confident fall under the category of rare and “oops I crawled in the wrong hiding spot”. But the big winner is rats. Rats are the most common thing crawling around in the sewer pipes. What is the strangest thing you’ve seen in your Central Massachusetts commode?
Are you still not convinced ticks won’t climb up your toilets? Rather than be afraid, let us help you eliminate the ticks on your Central Massachusetts property. With our traditional tick barrier treatment and tick tubes, we can lower the number of ticks in your yard so getting to your toilet never even becomes a possibility.