Seed ticks are very tiny ticks that appear as black dots and are actually young ticks still in the nymph or larval stage. Though they have not grown into adult tick size, they are a nuisance and it can be hard to remove all of them due to the fact that they cluster in groups of hundreds or even thousands. Due to the massive swarms which will latch onto a host, the best form of removal is to shower as soon as possible and use large pieces of tape to pull sections of ticks off skin or clothing. Wearing long jeans tucked into hiking boots or tennis shoes and spraying on bug spray before walking in the woods can reduce the chances of seed ticks clinging to a person.
To get rid of seed ticks around the home, it is best to keep all grass cut short and vegetation trimmed away from the house. Ticks find dark, covered areas to lay their eggs, which soon grow into seed ticks. Brushing against this area results in hundreds of the seed ticks swarming onto the person or animal. Eliminating as many hiding spots as possible and using a pesticide on problem areas can control or eliminate the tick population.
When a seed tick has bitten a person or pet, it's important to get rid of the insect in the proper fashion to avoid an infection. Improper removal of the tick can leave its head embedded in the skin instead of removing it completely. If the tick is large enough, gently grasp it with a pair of tweezers as close to the skin as possible and pull straight up. For small ticks, use lice shampoo or strong tape to remove them. A person should never touch a tick with her bare hands, as this could spread disease.
In pets, a medicated shampoo, or a medication provided by a veterinarian, can remove the ticks. It's important to wash bed linens and other materials the pet may have brushed against, including clothing, tablecloths, curtains, and other low-hanging fabrics. If the pet has had several hours to spread ticks throughout the home, having an exterminator come may be the best option as the ticks can hide and reappear for weeks.
Though not fully grown yet, seed ticks can still spread dangerous diseases and infections to pets or people. It's important to monitor tick bites for any signs of redness or swelling that spreads over large areas, lasts for more than a few days, changes color, or occurs in combination with other signs of illness or feeling unwell. In the event of many tick bites, the person may wish to visit the doctor for medication to treat the itching and swelling.