Tick Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from ticks by learning techniques for identification and control.

Tick illustration
Family Ixodidae


Types of Ticks

What do ticks look like?

Tick color varies by species. Adults can be smaller than a sunflower seed (over 1 cm long if engorged with blood), while tick larvae can be less than 1 mm. Ticks have only six legs during their larval stage and eight legs during their nymphal and adult stages.

How to Identify and Remove Asian Longhorned Ticks

Asian Longhorned Tick

Haemaphysalis longicornis

How to Identify Brown Dog Ticks | Get Rid of Ticks

Brown Dog Tick

Rhipicephalus sanguineus

Deer Ticks

Deer Tick

Ixodes scapularis

Fowl Ticks

Fowl Tick

Argas persicus

Lone Star Ticks

Lone Star Tick

Amblyomma americanum

Moose Ticks

Moose Tick

Dermacentor albipictus

Relapsing Fever Ticks

Relapsing Fever Tick

Ornithodoros spp.

Seed Ticks

Seed Tick

Wood Ticks

Wood Tick

Dermacentor andersoni


How do I get rid of ticks?

What You Can Do

Ticks found on pets or people require cautious and thorough removal. They should be grasped behind the head by tweezers and pulled slowly away from the host’s skin. Crushing the pest may lead to the release of further dangerous fluids. It is important that the mouthparts be completely removed from the wound, as well. Infected areas should be thoroughly washed and disinfected. If there are concerns resulting from a flea or tick bite, seek medical attention immediately.

What Orkin Does

Your Orkin service technician treats for ticks on your property by using a comprehensive, integrated tick control plan. While the specific requirements of a control plan are situational and will vary, the following control actions and recommendations will be factored into your plan:

  1. Inspection & Identification: The first step your Orkin technician takes is to inspect the property – perhaps both inside and outside the home since ticks can be brought inside on clothing and by pets. The inspection will include information related to tick distribution on the property and will also include species identification.

  2. Education: Your technician will provide some basic details about the pests including behaviors, life cycle, etc. They will also describe how to recognize ticks, how to prevent tick exposure, and give a recommendation to contact your medical professional or veterinarian for advice on using tick repellent, treatment products, and treatment advice should a tick-borne disease be suspected.

  3. Tick Habitat Modifications: Using the inspection findings, your technician may recommend modifying areas of tick habitat that will open formerly shaded areas to sunlight. Exposing an area to sunlight reduces moisture and decreases tick habitat. In addition, your technician will recommend removing protective sites such as heavy, thick leaf litter, thick ground cover around the home’s perimeter and protective areas such as fallen logs, firewood piles, and rock piles. Habitat modifications should target areas frequented by pets and family members, not necessarily the entire property.

  4. Chemical Applications: The plan also identifies locations where tick control products can be used effectively in accordance with approved instructions on the product label. Areas the technician will focus on include ground cover vegetation, areas where the lawn meets the woods, ornamental plantings, etc.

  5. Follow-Up: A follow-up inspection and additional control work, if needed, will be provided per the stipulations of your approved service agreement.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Ticks


  • Color: Color varies by species.

  • Size: Adults can be smaller than a sunflower seed (over 1 cm long if engorged with blood), while tick larvae can be less than 1 mm.

  • Legs:Ticks have only six legs during their larval stage and eight legs during their nymphal and adult stages.


Often found near wooded and highly vegetated areas. Some species require moisture to survive. Indoors, the may live inside cracks, crevices, or their host’s nest or burrow


Females and males of most species feed on blood of mammals, birds, and reptiles. Each species does have a preferred host, although most will feed on whatever blood is available to them. Thus, ticks are known to bite:

  • Cats and Dogs

  • Deer

  • Humans

  • Livestock

Life Cycle

Ticks consume blood meals during all four stages of their life cycles. Pathogens, or organisms that cause diseases in the animals they infect, can be passed through the stages of a tick’s life cycle. There are four stages:

  1. Egg

  2. Larval

  3. Nymphal

  4. Adult

Fleas vs. Ticks

Fleas and ticks are both parasitic in nature, living on hosts much larger than themselves. Both fleas and ticks feed on the blood of their chosen hosts and are transmitters of various diseases. While neither ticks nor fleas choose humans as their primary hosts, both parasites are known to bite and feed on humans in the absence of other food sources.


Like other arachnids, adult ticks possess four pairs of legs. However, as larvae, they bear only six legs and gain their fourth pair after molting. Their territories are not defined by specific location; rather, they tend to dwell within the habitats of their preferred hosts. Thus, the pests may be found in areas as diverse as forests, grasslands, and human homes. After hatching, all stages of a tick’s life cycle feed on blood.


Fleas are insects with six legs. They are wingless and incapable of flight. However, the flat bodies and long legs of the flea have developed to enable impressive jumping skills and the ability to move unimpeded through dense fur or hair. Fleas are found throughout the world, with several species residing primarily in households. Fleas undergo complete metamorphosis of egg, larva, pupa and adult. Only adults feed on blood.


Ticks carry serious diseases like lyme disease, colorado tick fever and rocky mountain spotted fever. Learn more about the dangers of ticks and how to help prevent them.

Ticks & Disease: Lyme & Colorado Tick Fever - Orkin Pest Control

More Resources

Dig Deeper on Ticks

Visit the Orkin Pest Library to learn how to identify and control other pests.
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Tick Bites

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Tick Fevers & Diseases

Ticks & Lyme Disease

Fact sheet: Ticks and tick-borne diseases

CDC: Lyme disease and tick control measures

CDC: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

CDC: Other tick-borne diseases

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