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Home » Tick Control » How Long Can A Tick Live?

How Long Can A Tick Live?

A bite from a tick can not only be irritating, but it can also pose some serious health risks. Ticks are known for transmitting diseases, such as Lyme disease and the bad news is that the situation is only getting worse as the tick population thrives, but how long can a tick live without its food supply?

How long can a tick live without blood?

If a tick gets into your home then it reduces its food sources because there is only you, and if you have any, your pets, that it can feed on. If your home is well protected, and you are vigilant when it comes to performing a thorough tick check after you’ve been out anywhere that you may have come into contact with ticks, then the chances are you should be pretty safe within your four walls. However, if a hitchhiking tick does get in, it’s not likely to last very long. Of course, this will depend on what stage of the tick’s life cycle it’s at.

Understanding the Tick Life Cycle

The majority of hard ticks require three different hosts to complete their development. During this development, ticks go through four stages of life. These stages are egg, larvae (or seed tick), nymph, and adult. Generally, adult female hard ticks breed while on the host animal and then drop to the ground to lay eggs. A female lays several thousand eggs at a time, which will eventually hatch into the larval stage, known as seed ticks. At this stage of life, these small ticks (about 1/8-inch in size) have six legs.

How long does it take for ticks to die without a host?

Without a host to feed on, a tick will not last very long. Ticks must feed on blood throughout every stage of their life cycle before they reach maturity. How long they can last, will depend on whether they are a soft tick or a hard tick.

What is the difference between a soft tick and a hard tick?

The difference between a hard tick and a soft tick can be seen in their habitat, life cycle, diet and appearance. The following video is very informative when it comes to identifying which is which.


Do both hard and soft ticks transmit disease?

Yes, they do! Which is why you should always ensure that you are protected from ticks.

How long does a tick need to be attached to transmit disease?

In order for a tick to transmit disease, it needs to be attached to the host for around 36 to 48 hours. This is why it is so important to make sure you check yourself and remove ticks safely if you find one on your body.

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