Ticks go through four life stages: eggs, larva, nymph, and adult. Female ticks are capable of spreading Lyme disease in the nymph and adult stage. The blood obtained from a host allows the female adult to nourish her eggs. Once the female is engorged with blood, it releases from the host and can lay up to 1,000 eggs. Once the eggs hatch, they enter the larva stage. Tick larvae are so small that they are sometimes called seed ticks. These “baby ticks” are about the size of a pinhead, and are usually found in high concentrations.
Baby ticks are often found in fallen leaves on forest floors. Because these ticks are so young, they do not usually carry as many harmful diseases. However, ticks in the larva stage are so numerous that hundreds of them can attach to a host. Unlike nymphs and adults, baby ticks cannot hang on tightly to the host, making removal easier.
To remove baby ticks, cut a strip of packaging tape and press it against the area. The strength of the tape is sufficient to pull the baby ticks out of the skin. Baby ticks often leave small swollen bite marks. Monitor these bite marks carefully. Seek medical attention if the bites remain swollen and itchy for more than a few days. If a baby tick is found inside, clean and vacuum the surrounding area, as ticks in the larva stage usually exist in the hundreds to thousands.
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