A tick is not an insect, but an arachnid, related to spiders. Ticks are active whenever the temperature is over 40 degrees and are rarely found over 18 inches above the ground.

Ticks do not jump, fly or descend from trees.

Tick bites do not hurt, and if you are bitten you probably won’t feel it. That is why it is important to check for ticks frequently during and after outdoor activities. The sooner you find and remove a tick the less likely any disease transmission will occur.

Ticks feed on vertebrates, everything from reptiles to birds or humans.

In the New York Tri-State area the ticks of most concern are the Deer tick, Wood tick and Dog tick. They usually have a preferred host, i.e. Wood ticks and the Dog tick prefer dogs but will feed on another host if dogs are not available. Ticks will also feed on different types of hosts during different stages of development, i.e. Deer ticks start out on deer mice then move to larger vertebrates like deer or humans.

Research on tick control is ongoing. Workers have shown that by using registered insecticides at the proper time, tick contact may be greatly reduced. Treating with an insecticide does not guarantee that no ticks will be present. People still need to dress appropriately and use repellants when in potentially tick-infested areas, and check regularly for the presence of ticks.