How Ticks Find a Potential Host

By Horizon Pest Control

If you are worried about ticks, you already know to be careful in the woods. They are the highest-risk area for you—or your pets—to pick up ticks. However, these opportunistic predators can find a host in many different ways, which means you need to practice tick safety even when you are not in the woods. 

In addition to being in the forest and woods, ticks like to hang out in people’s yards. In fact, the majority of tick bites on humans occur in yards, and pets are likely to encounter them in yards, as well. However, the better groomed your yard is, the less likely it is to host ticks. People should mow the yard frequently, try to establish a wood or gravel barrier between the lawn and any surrounding woodland areas, remove loose leaves, clear brush, and tall grasses around the edge of the yard, and remove debris from the yard. 

Of course, ticks rarely migrate to the yard on their own. They usually hitchhike on animals where they are feeding. They hang out with rodents, raccoons, deer, and stray cats and dogs. The more you can do to discourage those animals from entering your yard, the less exposure you will have to ticks. Of course, your own pets are potential hosts. Make sure to treat any of your pets with flea and tick preventative. 

Ticks are not visual hunters. Instead, they use other senses to hunt for prey. Ticks can identify breath and body odors, sense moisture and body heat, and feel the vibration of movement. They hide near pathways, sitting on the edges of grasses or shrubs. When an animal passes by, they use their outstretched legs to climb on the host. Some people believe that they jump onto the host, but they do not—the host has to brush against the tick.

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