Can Ticks Lay Eggs on Humans?

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Ticks are tenacious and dangerous pests that are present just about anywhere they can find long grass and plentiful hosts. Ticks often carry a wide variety of infectious diseases, are difficult to remove and can find their way onto humans by way of household pets.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

Ticks aren't able to lay eggs on humans or other animals.

Tick Eggs and Humans

The good news is that ticks don’t lay eggs on humans or on any other animals. Adult female ticks only lay their eggs after they have filled up on blood and detached from the host.

The bad news is that tick eggs can still be a serious problem. If they detach from you or your pet inside your home, ticks lay eggs in your carpet or on your furniture. A single mother tick can lay thousands of eggs. When they hatch, thousands of tick larvae are all looking for hosts.

The Tick Life Cycle

When tick eggs hatch, the larvae emerge. The tiny six-legged larvae climb to a high place, like the top of a blade of grass and wait for a vertebrate host (often a mouse or bird) to pass by. The larva then grabs on, attaches itself and fills itself with blood before dropping off and molting to become an eight-legged nymph.

The nymph repeats the process, looking for larger animal hosts including dogs, deer and humans. When the nymph completes its blood meal, it drops off, molts again and becomes an adult tick.

The adult ticks find their final hosts, seeking out the largest mammals such as dogs, deer and humans. On this final host, male and female ticks locate each other and mate. The male tick usually dies, while the female adult tick takes her final blood meal, than detaches and lays her eggs. The eggs lay dormant for several weeks to several months, and the process begins again.

Tick Transmitted Diseases

Ticks can acquire and transmit deadly diseases at every stage of their life-cycle. In fact, ticks transmit the widest variety of infection agents of any known blood-sucker. They can transmit bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and rickettsiae. Lyme disease is the most famous tick-born illness. Ticks transmit the microorganism that causes the disease to a human after a tick feeds on an infected deer and then feeds on a human. Ticks can also transmit babesiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia and other deadly diseases.

Getting Rid of Tick Eggs

If you find them in your home, the best way to kill tick eggs is using table salt. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt over your carpet or couch cushions, and leave the salt for a week. The salt will dehydrate and kill tick eggs.

To kill tick eggs in the yard you can use commercially available pesticides. Mow your grass short to encourage ticks to leave. Since ticks can’t fly or jump, they depend on tall grass to bring them close to potential hosts.

References

About the Author

Allen Cruthers has worked as a freelance writer since 2002. He got his start as a travel writer for "Let's Go" and has since written on topics ranging from business management to bioethics. Cruthers received his Bachelor of Arts in history from Harvard University.

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