What Are Ticks Attracted To?
Ticks are one of the most deadly insects in the United States because of their diseases. Mosquitoes claim the prize of the world's most deadly insect. Mosquitoes can carry and transmit malaria, but in the US there are more cases of tick-borne related disease. Malaria has been pretty much eradicated here. They are considered to be a parasite due to feeding off the blood of other animals. They will attach themselves and feed off of mammals and even some amphibians. Are there reasons you may be more attractive to ticks?
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Are Ticks Attracted to Certain Blood Types?
Like mosquitoes, there is some evidence that ticks may prefer certain blood types over others. Mosquito control research has found evidence that mosquitoes' favorite blood type is blood type O. According to a study by researchers in the Czech Republic, ticks' favorite blood type is type A, followed by type O, then type AB, and type B is their least favorite.
Ticks are attracted to carbon dioxide and sweat
Just like mosquitoes, ticks are sensitive to the CO2 you exhale and will find that attractive. They also sense body heat and the lactic acid that comes from sweating. Since you can't stop breathing or giving off body heat, these are things that really can't be controlled.
Types of clothing can help
Ticks are attracted to light colors. So when outside in areas that may be infested with ticks, wear dark clothing. It also helps to wear long-sleeve shirts and pants and tuck everything in so that a tick is less likely to come in contact with your skin. You also need to mist your skin and clothes with a repellent every 2 hours to ward them off.
Your yard and home may be the biggest attraction
Ticks like long vegetation, dead leaves, and wood debris and piles. Clean your yard of this type of stuff to make your yard less attractive to ticks. You can also prevent ticks by making your home and yard less attractive to deer. In our area deer are the most likely culprit of carrying adult ticks into your yard. Choose vegetation that is not likely to attract deer. Boxwoods are a common shrub in our area for decoration around the home, but deer love them. This is a great article from Garden Design about what type of plants you can use in your yard that are deer resistant.
Tick control around your outdoor living areas is the best way to make yourself less attractive to ticks and the nasty bites and diseases that they can bring. Go to Mosquito Squad to learn more about steps you can make to lessen the attraction of ticks and mosquitoes in your backyard.