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What are Seed Ticks?

A tick that is in the nymph stage of development may be referred to as a seed tick.
Packaging tape may be used to remove seed ticks.
If a pet has ticks, it is important to treat both the animal and the areas of a home where the pet has had access.
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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 September 2014
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Although some smaller types of ticks are referred to as seed ticks, the term generally refers to the stage in a tick's development before it becomes an adult. A tick has a number of development stages: egg, larva, nymph, and adult. Those in the nymph stage can also be referred to as seed ticks, since many people say that these tiny arachnids often resemble seeds. In this form, they are very small, often the size of a pinhead or smaller.

The danger in ticks in this stage usually lies in their numbers. Where there is one there are usually hundreds, if not thousands of others. Because seed ticks tend to congregate in the same area, they tend to find the same hosts, so someone who notices one nymph may find many others.

Though all ticks can carry disease, seed ticks, because they are somewhat younger, may not carry quite as many harmful viruses. This should not be misinterpreted as a reason to not take them seriously, however. All ticks have the ability to carry disease such as Lyme disease and rocky mountain fever.

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Most of these immature ticks do not have the ability to tightly cling onto a host, so removing them is often easier than with adult ticks. In some cases, it can simply be done by placing packaging tape over the affected area and lifting it off, as the ticks usually stick to the tape. For animals, using a medication designed to kill ticks usually works very well.

Pet owners who find that they have a pet affected by seed ticks should treat both the animal and the entire house, or at least areas where the pet has access, with some type of insecticide. These young ticks are numerous and may not always stay on a host, so they can easily wander around a home in areas where a pet has been. Without treatment, it is possible a homeowner will find himself continually having a problem with the small bugs.

As with any bug bite, the bite of seed ticks should be closely monitored for any infections. Ticks may cause red itchy bumps on the skin where they bite. If these do not go away after few days, or if the person bitten develops an illness shortly thereafter, he should seek medical treatment.

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Discuss this Article

anon963020
Post 8

Move to a very cold climate!

anon351595
Post 7

I was recently bitten by over 130 little seed ticks. I'm just waiting for Lyme symptoms. Any prevention?

anon111518
Post 6

Seed ticks ("turkey mites") are actually larvae form of ticks, and they do invade the host in numbers! causing itching at the bite site,and possible tick borne diseases. they do not hatch eggs in your body or burrow like common myth says.

If your home has been invaded the best thing to do is have it exterminated. to prevent infestation make sure to use flea/tick products on your pet (i.e frontline plus)(which you should have on your pet anyway to prevent tapeworm infections,anemia,and allergic dermatitis caused by fleas and diseases spread by ticks!)

make sure when you come home from being in fields, woods, etc. to change clothes and wash them immediately, check pets for hitchhikers, etc. vacuum your house regularly also.

anon108302
Post 5

One of dogs took off for a couple of days and brought these ticks back to the house and infected our other dog and one of our cats. The dog (40 pounds) that brought them back to the house would have died within a week had we not taken her to the vet. She was completely covered and you could even tell until there were so many of them. Frontline and lots of insecticide are working so far.

anon107823
Post 4

I don't know about how or if they can infect your house, but you get bit by them just like normal, adult ticks. My wife and I were recently bit by a bunch of them walking in a park on an overgrown trail (at the end of August).

anon103875
Post 3

This has been very helpful and informative. Thank you so much!

anon56535
Post 2

I just had my five year old cat put down because he came down with an unexpected, severe Haemobartonellosis disease (caused by seed ticks).

berty
Post 1

How would I get rid of seed ticks in my house if these little things come in the thousands? Where would someone get this in the first place, and how can I distinguish between one tick from another. I'm always afraid of these little creatures because of the illness that they cause, and the eggs they hatch in your body. I suppose its better in my house than in my body.

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