What do ticks do? Ticks serve a beneficial environmental purpose, but that doesn’t mean you want them in your yard. Find out how Terminix can help
What Do Ticks Do That Makes Them Beneficial?
Ticks are primarily known for being parasites. What exactly do ticks do? They latch on to other mammals and feed on them until they are full. As they enjoy blood meals, they can become infected with disease-causing pathogens or infect other hosts with tick-borne diseases.
Ticks don’t help plant seeds like ants, nor do they help get rid of other garden pests like spiders, so what are ticks good for? Like most living things, they serve a purpose in the balance of the ecosystem. Find out what role they play in the animal kingdom.
They Provide Food for Other Animals
Ticks may feed on a lot of mammals, but they often become a meal themselves. Many animals feed on ticks, including reptiles, birds and wild turkeys. In some regions, homeowners have turned to buying guinea fowl to help reduce tick populations and protect other farm animals from becoming hosts — though this solution is not as effective as using a pest control service.
They Tell Scientists How the Environment is Doing
Scientists monitor tick populations to find out how certain ecosystems are doing. Where ticks are abundant, populations of smaller mammals, such as rodents, squirrels and rabbits may also be high. A low tick population can also indicate that predators of smaller animals may be getting out of control. Everything is interconnected in the animal kingdom and, regardless of not being favored by many people, ticks do play an important role in helping to strike the right balance in the ecosystems they live in.
While ticks can be helpful to an ecosystem, they don’t serve you or your pets any direct benefit. Avoid becoming a tick host by following the steps below when you go outside.
Use Tick Repellent
Cover your clothing with a chemical repellent to help keep ticks off you whenever you go outside. DEET, permethrin or picaridin products are accessible over-the-counter.
Wear Protective Clothing
If you plan to camp, hike or go on a nature walk through a wooded area, wear long sleeves and pants to protect your skin from being bitten.
Inspect Your Yard
Ticks aren’t always hiding in the woods; they’re often as close as your backyard. Our professionals at Terminix® can inspect your yard for free and help identify areas that may be attracting ticks. Contact Terminix today to schedule an appointment.