Informing the public about tick-borne diseases and tick behavior has become much easier and faster thanks to the popularity of social media. With the easy sharing of multiple media types, more people know the symptoms of Lyme and how to avoid tick bites. However, on occasion, a misinformed social media post can spread like wildfire. As spring arrived, we noticed a picture in our news feed that showed what was dubbed “tick eggs” laying on the forest floor. Most of the posts advised readers to burn the tick eggs if they should stumble upon them.
NOT ALL SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS ARE TRUE
The problem is that the image shown does not show tick eggs. First of all, tick eggs are much smaller. They also are not typically the color shown in the image above. See the images to the right. Thanks to Tick Encounter Resource Center, you can see deer tick eggs and wood tick eggs are tiny and tan/brown/orangish. There are no known tick species that lay eggs as shown above.
CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS TICK EGGS
You could potentially stumble upon tick eggs in the forests of Central Mass. The adult female tick will take its last blood meal to gain nutrients needed to lay 1500-2000 eggs before dying. These eggs will remain in leaf litter until hatching into tick larvae where they will attach themselves onto small rodents or some bird species. Larvae will get their first blood meal from the rodent, allowing them to molt from larvae to nymph form. This first blood meal is many times when a tick becomes infected with a pathogen (such as Borrelia burgdorferi which causes Lyme disease) that can allow them to spread tick-borne diseases to their next host. While we agree with destroying tick eggs, we want to make sure you know what tick eggs look like.
CENTRAL MASS TICK TUBES
In efforts to minimize risk for tick-borne disease and lower the population of ticks in your yard, Mosquito Squad of Leominster offers tick tubes to compliment our popular tick mist service. The tick tubes are very effective in that they provide insecticide-treated nesting material to mice that are a favorite first blood meal for larval ticks. When the larval ticks come in contact with the nesting material they die. Eliminating ticks at such an early stage interrupts the tick life cycle, stopping ticks before they can spread pathogens or lay up to 2000 eggs each, on your property.