Last year, a customer wrote to us with a number of very important questions concerning the timing of tick treatments. Because the egg-laying season of ticks in the Bucks County and Montgomery County areas in once again upon us, we figured this would be an ideal time of year to share our response with all of you.
—Peter Benz (Founder, Peter Benz Landscaping)
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Q. When do adult ticks lay their eggs and hatch?
Adult ticks will lay their eggs in the spring, which will then hatch into larvae in the summer season. The larvae tend to become most active in the month of August. At this point, these ticks do not have Lyme disease, because they must feed on an infected host in order to become infected.
Q. What are the life stages of a tick?
A tick has three life stages over a two-year period. There is one blood meal (feeding) per stage before they molt into the next stage. Remember, though, that a newly hatched larvae cannot pass Lyme disease onto a human, because they don’t yet have the disease. The disease must be picked up from an infected host. That host is usually a mouse.
After its one blood meal, the larvae will transform into nymphs in the fall. This is the most dangerous life-stage of a deer tick, because they are still as tiny as larvae, but may now be carriers of Lyme disease.