What Are Seed Ticks?
First-stage tick larvae are sometimes called seed ticks and hatch from egg clusters before immediately seeking hosts. Seed ticks are extraordinarily small and typically measure less than a millimeter in length. Larvae have only six legs instead of the eight adults possess, which sometimes makes identification difficult. Seed ticks engorge themselves on a host’s blood, drop to the ground, molt, and then develop into nymphs.
Problems & Control
The most common problem caused by seed ticks is the result of their overwhelming numbers. Individuals may unknowingly walk by thousands of these tiny ticks, and any uncovered skin is quickly swarmed by larvae intent on feeding. Even in their larval stage, ticks carry a multitude of diseases, including tularemia, babesiosis, and Lyme disease. Homeowners should keep grass cut short and eliminate the food sources of animals known to carry ticks in order to reduce the possibility of attracting them. When seed tick problems are too large to handle, contact trained pest professionals.