How far can a tick jump?

Author: Mosquito Squad of Princeton, Mercer, Bergen, and Passaic County

It’s actually a trick question. Ticks don’t jump. They don’t climb high into trees and fall on us either. In fact, ticks don’t move or crawl much at all. You can consider them laid back opportunity seekers. We can’t fault them. They have a job to do. It takes a blood meal to reproduce so the’re just doing their job. Just the same, we don’t want them to use our family and pets to do their job!┬áIf they don’t jump or climb high in trees to fall on their prey, how do they get on us? The answer is they wait in areas near moisture where there hosts will be walking. Remember, ticks aren’t only waiting for us. They will take a blood meal from raccoons, possums, skunks, coyotes, mice, deer and other animals.

Unfortunately, these other animals ticks will latch on to include our beloved pets including dogs and cats. Since all of these animals are low to the ground, that’s where ticks commonly wait. Of their eight legs, two of them will be reaching out waiting on grasses and limbs. Scientists call this “questing”. They are on a quest for their next blood meal and reaching out to attach to any nearby person or animal with blood coursing through their veins.

In Fairfield County CT, you can reduce your exposure to ticks in your yard by trimming shrubs and thick vegetation. This will eliminate the questing areas tick use. When hiking on trails, especially in wet areas, it’s best to follow tick prevention strategies. You may not associate ticks with beach areas but ticks do live in the marshes and “hang out” or quest in areas like those at Penfield Beach and Jennings Beach. Be careful when walking on trails or beach access areas. Stay on paths and keep away from low bushes and also stay away from tall grasses including cattails.

When hiking on trails for the day, wear light-colored clothing so you can spot ticks more easily. Tucking pants inside socks when hiking will reduce the chance of ticks crawling under garments and remaining unseen as they find their spot to feast. Check yourself and family when returning indoors, especially ears, neck and scalp. Removing a tick quickly will reduce your chance of contracting a tick-borne illness. Experts agree that safely removing a tick within the first 24 hours of being bitten greatly reduces your chance of infection.

Ticks don’t need much water to stay hydrated. They can quest for a few hours in dry spots on plants, briefly returning to a small pocket of water or damp leaves to rehydrate. Beaches often have marshes, wetlands and other places holding small pockets of freshwater. In these locations, raccoons, possums, and mice abound.

Have a safer summer by avoiding Lyme Disease or other tick-borne illnesses in your Fairfield County yard. For your property, Mosquito Squad of Princeton, Mercer, Bergen, and Passaic County provides a perimeter spray to eliminate ticks and mosquitoes in your yard. When venturing from home, you can reduce your exposure to these diseases by following the safe practices we’ve discussed here.