A recent report in USA Today warns of the dangers of a new type of pest called the “seed tick,” but Iowa State University entomologist Donald Lewis says technically, the story is wrong.
“It is not a different species of tick,” Lewis says. “It’s certainly not something new, I’ve used the phrase seed tick for the last 40 years. It’s not a new phrase, it’s not a new pest. It just gets used by the general public to mean something teeny tiny that I think was a tick.”
Lewis says there’s no need to be particularly concerned about this insect. “All species of ticks can have the term ‘seed tick’ applied to their larval stage,” he says. “It simply means the beginning stage of any kind of tick.”
Lewis says when the so-called seed ticks mature, they can carry many types of illnesses including Lyme disease. He is not predicting a particularly bad tick season. He admits they do grow well in humid and wet conditions with a good food source like small mammals. If a mature tick of any kind does become attached, the recommended way to remove it is with tweezers.
(Thanks to Pat Blank, Iowa Public Radio)