Most of us know how humans spread illnesses to other humans, but how do ticks spread diseases to humans? These small critters spread diseases much like mosquitoes do: Through the feeding process. The only way to prevent ticks in your yard is to undergo a tick removal program through a certified company.

How the feeding process works

  • Each species of tick spreads diseases at slightly different life stages. Ticks go through a four stage life cycle and the feeding time for each stage varies from 10 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Once the tick finds a good spot on the skin to feed, it latches onto the surface of the skin and begins to draw blood from it’s host via a feeding tube similar to what a mosquito has. Some species will dispense a sticky substance to help them stay on their host, or the feeding tube will be notched to keep the tick in place.
  • The biggest factor as to why ticks so easily spread diseases is because they secrete a substance which essentially numbs the host, making it hard to detect once they’re latched on.
  • Another factor that contributes to the spread of tick-borne illnesses is that the host will have an infection. The hosts’ virus will be sucked into the tick and then carried to the next host.
  • Ticks can also harbor diseases which can be transmitted via their saliva. Sometimes the saliva can enter the skin when a tick is feeding and the disease will then be passed on to the host.
  • After a tick is finished feeding — which may take up to several days — it will drop off the host, go through it’s next life cycle stage (if it isn’t an adult already) and then find a new host to latch onto. Once they find another host, any diseases picked up from the previous one can be spread.

Ticks are prevalent in the state of Rhode Island, even through late October. If you, your children and your pets enjoy the outdoors all year-round, it’s important to sign up for a routine barrier spray program. Contact Mosquito Terminators of Newport RI today for pricing details!