Dr Tick, How do I know if I have a deer tick problem on my property and if the tick’s carry Lyme’s Disease
Generally speaking if you have deer on your property, you have deer ticks, but the absence of deer does not mean you don’t have ticks because ticks and deer ticks can show up on your property from other sources like rodents, birds etc. Deer, simply because of their larger size can and often do carry more numbers of ticks. This is why we call them deer tickS ,BECAUSE DEER CARRY SO MANY OF THEM. BUT DON’T BE FOOLED INTO THINKING DEER SPREADS LYME DISEASE. MICE CARRY THE LYME DISEASE BACTERIUM NOT DEER. DEER SIMPLY JUST BRING THE TICKS, MICE SPREAD THE DISEASE. This makes deer a very likely subject for bringing ticks onto the property, but the mice are what brings the Lyme disease. The tick feeds on the mice which then pick up the disease from the mice and then spread it to humans once the human is bitten. Once on the property blood-engorged female ticks survive the winter in the forest leaf litter and begin laying their 1,500 or more eggs (called a clutch) around Memorial Day (late May) or sometimes a bit earlier. These eggs hatch in July, and the life-cycle starts again when larvae become active in August. Tick need a blood meal to lay their eggs.
Ticks become infected with the bacterial agent causing Lyme disease [and other disease-causing agents] when they take their blood meal from small rodents, such as white-footed mice. Ticks use the blood meal to grow, and the infection just goes along for the ride-for example, if larval ticks feed on an infectious mouse, most become infected (80-90%), and once they transform (molt) into nymphal ticks , are able to transmit the infection at their next blood meal. This makes animals like mice the ‘reservoir’ of infection. Even though they are called “deer” ticks, the infections they transmit come from rodents. Prevention strategies that target ticks feeding on mice may help reduce risk of encountering infected ticks on your property. There are both spray and non spray treatments to reduce the deer tick population on your property. Your expert at Alternative Earthcare can help you decide which method is best for you, your family and property. JUST ASK THE DOCTOR. BE SAFE OUT THERE! DR TICK