What Are Seed Ticks ?

Keep Yourself Tick Free

You’ve seen them before. The size of a grain of sand and moving around looking for skin to bite. You encounter them while you’re walking through thick grass or brush. They are so small you could classify them as baby ticks or seed ticks. As you look at them you may ask yourself…What are seed ticks?

The Beginning Of A Ticks Life

Every life has to start somewhere and a tick is no different. Once an egg is hatched the tick begins its life cycle in the larval stage. The larval stage is what you are looking at when you see a seed tick. Its the earliest and smallest stage in a ticks life cycle. It is at this stage that the tick will be looking for its first blood meal – necessary for its survival. Once received, it will not bite again until it reaches the nymph stage.

Will A Seed Tick Bite ?

Yes. However the chance of them biting you are directly correlated to the species. Deer Tick         ( Sheep Tick – Europe and Taiga Tick – Asia) larvae have a higher chance of attaching


                       The Life Cycle Of The Deer Tick 

themselves to you than say the Winter Tick species. Deer Ticks are equal opportunity parasites. They can thrive off the blood of almost any mammal – human or not. The time that the larvae spends feeding is short. Combined , these two reasons are why deer tick larvae have a high chance of attaching themselves to you , while it might be lower with other species of ticks. In northern New England we regularly encounter masses of seed ticks attaching themselves to your clothing while hiking through grasses or brushy areas in the fall. To thrive, the winter tick needs to attach to Moose . Its feeding cycle is so long ( months) it will not survive on animals that groom themselves ( humans, deer etc..)

Does A Seed Tick Carry Disease ? 

The answer is no. Prior to biting you it has never taken blood into its system. Because of this no pathogens are present in its gut. They will cause skin irritation however, if they do become attached. The best way to prevent them from becoming attached is to remove them immediately.

How Do They All Become Attached At Once ?

All seed ticks hatched from an adjacent egg sack. Many of these egg sacks  will contain up to 1000 eggs.!  These newly hatched larvae congregate in a group  – attached to one another by tiny hairs on their legs. When a host brushes against them one will attach itself. As it does so the rest will follow. Sort of like a chain of monkeys. That my friends is how , in the blink of an eye, you end up with 300 of these nasty critters running around like crazy on your clothing.

How Do You Keep Them Off You?

  • Avoid walking through brushy habitat – particularly where timber harvesting occurred within the last 3-10 years. Avoid habitat with knee high grass.
  • Dress Properly  – This cannot be stressed enough. Wear clothing with with Permethrin. When they get get on your clothing, the Permethrin will kill them quickly.
  • Remove them immediately –  when you see them on your clothing. The most efficient way is to use rolled duct tape.

An Easy Way To Remove Seed Ticks ?

 Keep Yourself Tick Free

No normal person likes to find ticks on their clothing. Its bad enough when there are one or two and easy to see. But, when the number are in the hundreds and they are tiny and moving every which way –  it is enough to make anyone worried. Looking like microscopic crabs – these squirming pests are known as “seed” ticks.  They are the larvae stage in a tick’s life cycle.

Don’t Freak Out !

When you get blasted with a bunch , you will find yourself immediately trying to wipe them off.  This can be tough. Dressing properly  ,for the outdoors, will help minimize their stay on your clothing. However, when there are hundreds and they are moving quickly in all kinds of directions it can be unnerving. At this point you want to know : How do I remove seed ticks ? The answer is simple, read on….

The Solution:

Instead of wasting time wiping them off – use tape to pick them up. Any tape will work, but for maximum effectiveness- duct tape works the best.  Just take a long piece, fold it around to make a loop , large enough to put your fingers in, and stamp away. To pick up the largest number of ticks on each stick,  you will want a brand with maximum adhesive grip. Personal experience has shown that Gorilla Tape works the best. It has a bit more adhesive than other brands,  allowing you to get maximum effectiveness out of your strip. In no time you will have all of those nasty little buggers off your body.

Be Prepared

Don’t  be caught out in the woods and fields – ever again –  without a tool for handling a tick “bomb”.  Pull off a long strip from your main roll and wrap it around your water bottle.  When the situation arises – you can just pull off a bit and handle the situation with ease.

 Order A Roll Today !

Will A Drought Kill Ticks ?

Keep Yourself Tick Free !

Ticks are an interesting insect. Although they are very small they are also really hardy. They are able to survive  a variety of extreme weather conditions.  However, they are not invincible. Drought conditions will reduce their numbers. To better understand this  let’s start by looking at what sort of conditions they do best under.

Lots Of Moisture

Having an early, warm spring  that is preceded by a winter with little or no snow cover will lead to higher tick numbers. When this is followed by a summer with a lot of rain –   deer tick numbers will explode. Being an arachnid ,with a thin exoskeleton, moist conditions enable them to thrive. It has been shown that summers with high humidity and a lot of rain will lead to a very high tick population.

What Happens When Conditions Are Dry ? 


                               Tick Jungle Gym

When conditions begin to dry out  they will adapt. First they will start  by  staying lower to the ground and under leaf cover. If drought conditions become worse,  they will  go into a hibernation like state. Here they will remain permanently using the the protection of  leaf  and moist areas on the forest floor. If the drought continues to persist for a number of months, some of the population will die out. Under extreme drought conditions  it can be as high as 1/3  of the population. That may seem like a lot. However,  one single female tick can lay up to 2000 eggs ! Even with 1/3 of the population eliminated that still leaves a lot of ticks out there.

Are All Ticks Affected The Same Way ?

Some ticks, like the Deer Tick, are very susceptible to dry conditions. Others, like the Brown Dog Tick, Lone Star Tick  and Wood Tick are less impacted . Unfortunately, they seem to cope better with dry conditions.  So, just because its a drought, don’t let your guard down !  Although, these tick species are not known to carry Lyme Disease they are know carriers of a whole host of other nasty diseases like Rocky Mtn. Spotted Fever or Tularemia

Protect Yourself

Even if conditions are dry and the ticks aren’t as prevalent  – continue to take proper precautions to protect yourself.

Together – these steps will reduce your chances of getting ticks on you…whether there is a drought or not !


How Do I Keep Ticks Off Me While Hunting ?

Keep Yourself Tick Free !

Ticks can be a problem – especially for hunters. Unfortunately,  as a hunter ,avoiding tick habitat  is not practical.  The game you’re pursuing tends to live and thrive in the same conditions where ticks are most prevalent. So your goal is not to avoid tick habitat but instead  to keep them off your clothing and body when you’re there !

As an avid hunter myself, I can share with you with you a few tips that I’ve found to be effective  in keeping ticks from latching onto your skin.

Always Wear Rubber Boots Over Your Pant Legs


    Keep Hunting – Tick Free !

The most common way for ticks to get onto your skin is by crawling under your pant legs. When you cut off this pathway you greatly reduce the chance of being bitten.  Rubber Boots  – with your pant legs tucked into them – eliminate this pathway. The pant legs are not “swishing” loosely around which will reduce the chance of a tick brushing against you and latching on. Also the rubber portions of the boot are too smooth for a tick to hold on to. The bulk of ticks that get on your clothing latch onto your boots or pant cuffs first and then begin their climb upwards. With rubber boots you eliminate both of these potential avenues for attachment.  A good  versatile rubber boot is the LaCrosse Alpha Burly. I’ve owned numerous pairs and they are comfortable,rugged and good for outdoor work, gardening and hunting. Some of them are not entirely rubber on the upper portion of the boot – which brings us   to our second tip….

Treat Your Boots With Permethrin

On those portions of the boot where there is breathable material – use Permethrin Spray to treat the boots. To maintain the effectiveness  treat the boots after every four days of use. Studies have shown that boots regularly treated with Permethrin will reduce your chances of having ticks on your clothing.

Wear Leggings

If you can tolerate the additional heat – wear leggings.  With leggings if a  tick were to still get up under your pant legs, it would have to travel all the way to your waistline before attaching itself to your skin. Cabela makes a great product under the brand name BugSkinz. They are lightweight, well constructed, comfortable and wick away moisture very well.  They are also silky smooth making it much more challenging for a tick to “hook” its way up your leg. In the spring and fall – when its cooler – they work well as long underwear.

Professionally Treat Your Hunting Gear and Clothing With Permethrin

You might be tempted to just spray your clothing with Permethrin and hope for the best. Although this approach can  work – its not nearly effective as if you were to have your regular hunting outfits professionally treated with this tick repellent. Insect Shield can do this for you. They utilize a proprietary process that enables the treatment to remain effective for up to 70 washings ! This saves you time and money. Its easy – just contact them and send your hunting clothing to them. They will treat it and within a very short period of time you will have your favorite hunting clothes back and repelling ticks.

Avoid DEET

Its been generally assumed that DEET is effective when it comes to repelling ticks. Studies have shown otherwise. While its great at repelling mosquitoes, flies gnats and blackflies-  when it comes to ticks it has been shown to not work so well. In fact a Minnesota study  showed that a boot that had a 35 % DEET application was ineffective at repelling any ticks , while the same boot with a .05 % Permethrin application – killed the ticks within minutes.! The solution is to make sure your boots and clothing are both treated with Permethrin

Perform Regular Tick Checks

Do it while you are in the field, when you get to your truck and when you are home. Periodically looking down and inspecting your pant legs and shirt sleeves, while you’re in the field,  is a wise habit to get into. You can often notice them crawling along and flick them off. Inspecting yourself thoroughly before getting in your truck is also smart. You might also consider carrying a change of clothes with you to change into before getting in the truck. Place your hunting clothes in a tightly sealed trash bag before bringing them in the truck. Once you get home,( if you haven’t done so already)  remove your hunting clothes before you enter the house. Then throw them in the dryer on low for 15 minutes. Have you spouse or partner check your back and head for any ticks that may be attached.


Combined –  these practical tips will greatly reduce the chances of a disease carrying tick from attaching themselves to your skin. You will be able to continue to enjoy your times spent hunting – tick free-  for years to come.

Remember To Treat – Its The Only Way Ticks Will Be Beat

What Is The Best Way To Avoid Ticks ?

Keep Yourself Tick Free !

Ticks – the bane of anyone who enjoys the outdoors. They’re silent, sneaky little vectors of disease. But like any sneaky insect-  the key to avoiding them is to avoid the habitat they’re most commonly found in. Minimizing your exposure to the conditions that make them thrive will greatly reduce your exposure to them. If you’re a forester that is not always an option. Sometimes you have to be in prime tick  habitat – for hours at a time . In that case its vitally important that you dress properly. But for those who don’t have to work outside, in a variety of conditions,  here are a few tips for avoiding habitat where ticks are most prevalent.

Avoid Recently Timbered Areas

When you are walking through the woods your travels may take you through areas that were recently harvested. If the harvest took place within the last 10 years, the conditions will be ideal for ticks. The combination of leafy brush and switchgrass, in the old skid trail , along with the prevalence of rodents and mammals create and ideal environment for ticks to thrive.  ( Rodents and mammals are important blood meals for deer ticks.) Its best to avoid walking through these spots as much as possible. Following the edge of them – while staying in the dense woods – is your best bet.

Avoid The Edges Of Grassy Fields


                   Beautiful scenery…. but watch for ticks !

The edges of grassy field are prime habitat for ticks, especially the deer tick. The numerous blades of grass act as an ideal  platform from which to quest for a blood meal. The ticks will lie in wait until a host comes along that they can attach themselves to. Edges of fields are also preferred habitat for white-tailed deer. Their presence, in turn, increases the amount of ticks that will be found in this type of habitat.

Oak/Pine Forest Types

Deer ticks rely upon white footed mice as a blood meal for their life cycle. White footed mice in turn rely upon acorns as a source of food. Needless to say most forests,  where Oaks are abundant, have a high prevalence of deer ticks. If you live in a part of the country where this is a  predominant forest type – always dress to avoid ticks. Your chances of finding them on you are much higher than in other forest types like northern hardwoods or northern conifer(s).

Grassy Openings On Hiking Trails

These may take the form of an abounded logging road that the trail  follows or an old yarding area or forest opening that the trail goes through. Either way, they are nothing short of tick playgrounds. Be aware of this and avoid them if at all possible.

Shrubby Wetlands/Stream-River Bottoms

Wetlands are usually full of very dense, high grasses, reeds and brush. They are also moist – which ticks like- along with great cover for many forms of wildlife that carry ticks.

Streams and river bottoms act as corridors of travel for many sources of wildlife that carry ticks. They also tend to be filled with invasive species of plants. Like wetland flora, these plants make for ideal cover for rodents that carry ticks – such as rabbits. They are also tough to walk through which increase your chances of rubbing against leaves and branches that may have a ticks questing on them.


Despite your best intentions or out of necessity  – you may just not be able to avoid these sites. Yet ,if you dress properly by wearing Treated Pants, ShirtsGaiters and Hats your chances of finding a tick on you are greatly reduced. One less tick on you means one less chance of getting a debilitating disease .

How Can I Dress To Keep Ticks Off Me?

Keep Yourself  – Tick Free !

There is nothing like spending time outdoors. Fresh air,  beauty of nature, sun on your skin …it does wonders for your health and your soul.

Unfortunately, being outside can carry  risk.  One risk is biting insects. Most are annoying and don’t carry serious diseases.  However, some can be downright lethal! Ticks fit into the lethal category. Just one bite and your life can be changed forever.

Ticks can carry serious diseases.

Depending on the species of ticks , they can carry anything from Babesiosis, Lyme Disease, Rocky Mtn. Spotted Fever, Ricketts, Bells Palsy etc.. It is not uncommon for a person to become infected with a number of these diseases – just from one tick bite ! A ticks gut is a petri-dish for biological diseases.  All of these diseases can be life altering , so its  important to prevent getting bitten in the first place.

So the question becomes:”  What clothing can I wear to keep ticks off me ? “

For starters:  avoid walking through areas where grass, and brush is dense and knee high.  A tick  latches on to you by sitting on the edge of a blade of grass with its tiny hooks outstretched. It will lay there for days and wait for a human or animal to pass by. This is called questing.  Once you pass by , it then  hooks on to your clothing and starts climbing up your leg.

This is why its so important to dress properly.  Dressing properly begins with keeping your skin covered and eliminating any and all entry ways for ticks to get under your clothing. This includes wearing long pants, long sleeved shirts, gaiters, and a hat.

Insect Shield is a company that manufactures clothing that repels ticks. 

Using a proprietary formulation of permethrin, Insect Shield products have the substance so tightly bound into their fabric it makes them effective at repelling ticks – for up to 70 washings. Permethrin is a synthetic substance formulated according to the same chemical structure as its naturally occurring source – the chrysanthemum flower. Permethrin is lethal for ticks.


 ALWAYS wearing long pants when you’re in areas where ticks are abundant. The protection is worth the extra sweating. Insect Shield makes a great product ! I have personally field tested their work jeans. They work ! Within minutes deer ticks and their larvae-  drop right off after hooking on. Wood and dog ticks take a bit longer but rarely make it higher than the waistline.  In fact, during the spring, summer and fall months – they are the only pants that I wear while working in the woods. My wife wears their yoga pants  for hiking and their slacks while working in the garden and she rarely finds a tick on her.


Long Sleeved Shirt


                   A Forester’s Outfit                                Insect Shield Wick Shirt & Work Jeans

When the temperature is hot and humid wearing a long sleeved shirt is not always practical.  However, the more often you wear one,  the less chance a tick will be found on your skin. It will greatly eliminate your chances of   picking one up as you brush against a branch or long blade of high grass.  One of my favorite shirts to wear during the spring and fall months is the Mens Wicking Tee  by Insect Shield. It keeps you warm during those cool spring and fall days while also giving you protection. It’s also well constructed and comfortable.


One of the main ways for a tick to latch onto your skin is by crawling up under your pant legs. They do this by first attaching to your boot/shoe and then stealthily crawling up your sock. At that point they continue to make their journey up to your waist line where they stop and then attach themselves to your skin.

Gaiters will cut off this entry-way.  With a tight elastic band at the top and tight seal around your boot – the chances of a tick sneaking through is greatly reduced ! They’re comfortable and Made in the USA.


Having your head covered also greatly reduces your chance of ticks getting onto your skin. Although not as common as being found in low grass and brush, ticks can sometimes  be found questing on tree leaves and branches. Wearing a hat treated with Permethrin will greatly reduce your chances of one latching onto your head as you walk by.

A Few Last Steps

After spending time outside, always take your clothes off BEFORE going inside. Either put the clothing ,you’ve just worn, in the drier for 15 minutes on low heat or place in a tightly sealed trash bag and dry later.  The heat from a dryer will kill adult and nymph ticks. This will reduce the chance of a tick taking up residence in your home. Follow all of this up with a shower and then a visual inspection of your skin – particularly around the waist, behind the ears, top of the head and groin areas. If its mid-early summer, look closely for tick nymphs.  Although tiny they carry the same diseases that the adults do.


Enjoying the outdoors poses its own set of risks.  Where ticks are present ( which is pretty much everywhere outside of the desert)  these risks are amplified. However, by dressing properly, the risk is greatly reduced. No longer do you need to ask  yourself ” What can I wear to keep ticks off me?” .

The answer is found here: Pants, Long Sleeved Shirts, Gaiters and Hats 

4 Non-Toxic Ways To Keep Off Ticks

Keep Yourself Tick Free !

Imagine enjoying the outdoors tick free !   Now Imagine enjoying the outdoors both tick free and toxic free. ” What are non toxic ways to keep off ticks” – you might ask ? Well, here are four tried and true methods to keep off  these pesky insects without using chemicals.

Wear Rubber Boots

Whenever a tick latches on to your clothing ( or skin) it seeks to climb upwards. It achieves this  by using the woven stitches of your clothing or even the tiny hair follicles on your skin as a ladder for climbing upwards. In most cases the tick latches on below the knee. With this in mind, wearing a knee high rubber boot will help to eliminate this pathway. The smoothness of the rubber prevents the tick from grabbing on. At the same time, with your pants tucked into the boot, the most common pathway for tick travel has been eliminated. Field testing has shown me that the Lacrosse Mens Alpha Burly rubber boots work very well. They are well made and both comfortable and rugged.                             A well worn pair

Some advantages:

  • Rubber Sole
  • Good traction
  • Comfortable
  • Knee High

If you are a female reader and feel the Alpha Burly is too heavy of a boot for you then consider looking at the Women’s Hunter Boot . They come in either tall or short versions. Like the Lacrosse they are also waterproof and effective at keeping ticks on the ground and not on your leg.

Wear Synthetic Leggings

A pair of smooth, synthetic leggings worn under your pants is extremely effective at keeping ticks off your skin.  Bug Skinz sold  by Cabela works very well.  They are light, durable, breathable and effectively wick away perspiration. I’ve worn a pair every day  I’m working in the woods – during the spring and fall – and they are still holding up after 4 years !  They also double  effectively as long underwear for those days and mornings that are a bit chilly.

Wear Gaiters

Gaiters are essentially short leggings worn on the outside of your pants and over the top of your boots. They cut off the passageway for ticks to get under your pant legs and onto your skin. Tick Gaiters is an awesome brand that works very well. They actually look classy ( for a gaiter) and way less goofy than pulling your socks up over your pant legs.

  • Made in the USA
  • Tight seal between gaiter and boots.
  • Straps keep gaiters from moving up
  • Visually pleasing

You can order a  pair HERE

Wear Cedar Oil

Out of all the natural tick repellents out there, CedarCircle works the best. Their Tickshield Natural Insect Spray provides your best result for the money spent.  Made from an oil derived from the Cedar tree – its 100 % natural !

  • 100% safe
  • lethal to ticks
  • 100 % synthetic chemical free
  • safe for your family and pets.

Tick Free & Chemical Free

Combining the right products and gear will enable you to once again enjoy the outdoors free from those nasty parasites. You will also have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your body is free of any synthetic chemicals.

You win while the ticks lose !

What Is The Best Way To Remove A Tick ?

Keep Yourself Tick Free !

So, it has happened. Despite all of your best efforts to keep those pesky ticks off your body, you’ve found one attached to  your skin. The queston now becomes; What do you do ?

      • Don’t Panic..its a tick not an alligator.


               Just hanging out waiting !

      • Use the right tool for removing it. Don’t use pliers or tweezers. They may leave the head behind causing an infection later.
      • Keep the tick in a clear plastic bag. Your doctor may appreciate having this.
  • Clean the wound. Hydrogen peroxide works great !
  • Mark the spot of the bite with a magic marker and keep any eye on it for a few days. If it turns into a large round red circle – see a health professional immediately.
  • Even if no bullseye shows up other infections could be there, so seeing your doctor about your bite – is important.

A very effective tool for removing an embedded tick is The Original Ticked Off Tick Remover  With an ergonomic handle and specialized notch in a bowl shaped end it removes ticks completely by plucking it flush with your skin. This will help prevent any part of the tick being left behind in your skin.

Other benefits:

        • Endorsed by veterinarians and physicians
        • Small and light – making it easy to carry and to store.
        • Made in the USA
        • Versatile – can be used by both humans and pets.


Are Ticks Active In Winter ?

Keep Yourself Tick Free !

There is an assumption out there there  that cold temperatures kill ticks. They don’t!  Ticks are a very hardy insect.

As long as there is sufficient leaf litter and snow cover, in which to hide underimg_20160105_142252; cold temperatures will not impact ticks. They will remain dormant for weeks at temperatures well below zero. As soon as the temperature rises above  38-40° F. and open ground is present  they will become active.  Almost like they are waking from hibernation.

What this means is that although the chances are low  of finding a tick on you – with snow cover present- the chance still exists. So be aware and be prepared.! Dress properly and consider having even your winter clothes treated with Permethrin. You can buy it here and spray it on yourself or you can go the more efficient route and have the good folks at Insect Shield do it for you. Using their service will keep your clothes repelling ticks for up to 70 washes !

 Whatever approach you decide to take, you can be assured that even during the winter months you are protected against these little vectors of disease.

What Is The Best Tick Repellent ?

Keep Yourself Tick Free !

Have you ever seen those science fiction movies where there are alien life forms that can survive any earthly catastrophe? Ticks can appear to be just like these creatures.

They are an insect that has a unique ability to survive heat, many months without feeding, trauma and even prolonged frigid temperatures. Like alien life forms – they can seem otherworldly. Fortunately there is one substance that is extremely effective at repelling them:


What is Permethrin ? Its a chemical that is derived from the chrysanthemum and known as a pyrethroid insecticide. The pyrethroids are extracted from the flower then suspended in an oil or water base. Although sometimes its also left in powder form.

Is It Toxic ?

Although not without risk to humans ; if its administered according to the label the negative effects are minimal.  Weighed agains the negative effects of being bitten by a diseased tick – the tradeoffs are minimal. For cats and fish its lethal ! Keep it away from both !51smnfe6sil

Does It Kill Ticks ?

Yes. Within minutes of their exposure to any clothing treated properly with it. I’ve personally tested clothing treated with it  and witnessed deer ticks getting no further than the knee area on my leg before dropping off and dying.

How Does It Compare To Other Insect Repellents? 

It stands heads above the rest. The only other substitute is DEET,  a chemical with a history of causing neurological problems. A Minnesota study also showed a boot that had a 35 % DEET application was ineffective at repelling any ticks , while the same boot  with a .05 % Permethrin application – killed the ticks within minutes.!


  • Odorless
  • Effective Repellent – kills ticks within minutes
  • Doesn’t damage clothing
  • Doesn’t require skin application
  • One application works weeks


  • Has distinct smell
  • Ineffective on ticks
  • Melts synthetic clothing
  • Requires direct application to skin
  • One application only lasts for hours.

Hands down Permethrin is the tick repellent of choice.


P.S. A recent Swedish study showed that boots with a Permethrin application attracted 20% less ticks than those without !