seed ticks: the devil’s spawn

Lest anyone [re: city folk] think living in the country is all sweetness and light, let me disabuse those folk of that notion in one word: seed ticks.

Okay, it was two words. Sue me. But really, seed ticks are disgusting, horrible, nasty, annoying, and gross. Now, let me tell you how I really feel.


And we live in Tick Central. This is the Tick Ranch. Our main crop is, you guessed it, TICKS. It’s just a fact of life in central NC.

What? You don’t know what a seed tick is?

A seed tick is the larval stage of a tick. They sit in masses of hundreds, if not thousands, in grass, or maybe in some alternate tick dimension where they phase into existence just as one of the kids walks by. Innocently brushing said grass/inter-dimensional portal, hundreds of tiny, teeny seed ticks glom on and begin swarming up the leg or arm at near superluminal speeds. When you notice it, you look down and see this massing army of what looks like moving dirt spreading up your leg and generally what happens next is you freak the fuck out.

Here, look:

Can you see those little dots? Those are about a hundred baby ticks crawling across my hand and up my arm. This is actually a small tick bomb, as a big one can look like mud on your hand, the tick mass is so large. Can you believe I had the presence of mind to stop and take a picture before I washed those mother fuckers off? I can’t.

When this happens, we call it a Tick Bomb, as in, “Mom! I just got tick bombed!”

If you don’t get the ticks off, they bite in, leaving tiny, blister-like bites that itch for weeks, months even. Seed ticks supposedly are too small to spread Lyme Disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, so there is that in their favor I guess. I don’t know—if someone introduced me as “At least she doesn’t carry any major diseases,” I don’t think it would be a huge compliment. Just saying.

When we were looking at this land to buy, we hired a semi-realtor dude to come out and handle the paperwork for us. He came out to walk the land with us with the seller’s realtor—I guess this is normal, like having your lawyer present or something. Anyway, we warned him about the ticks. We told him to take preventative measures. But he totally dismissed this and showed up in slacks and loafers. He later told me that no amount of money from the sale of that land could make up for the torture-by-itching that he experienced from all the tick bites he got on that walk.

So what ARE preventative measures? Well, some people use the chemical method, some people use the barrier method. For the ticks, I mean. For example, people try to keep the ticks away with tall boots, sprayed down with poisonous toxins. This can do all right, unless you get ticks on your arms. And if you spray your whole self, there you are, covered in poison. No thank you. Other people say to tuck in your clothes tightly, putting your pants into your socks, that sort of thing, in an attempt to keep the ticks on the clothes and off your skin. They they toss the clothes in the washer. But I’ve seen ticks come out of the washer alive (obviously they are the scourge of the earth, a mix of nuclear waste and the Undead), and one or two or ten always seem to get through anyway and bite you in the armpit, or along the elastic of your underwear. I HATE that.

Here’s a weird one: I used to put a super thick layer of lotion or vaseline around my ankles. The ticks couldn’t climb any higher than the lotion (they would get stuck in it) and I could just wash my feet after the walk and be done with it. I did this until one summer I got about 200 bites on my left foot and decided even localizing the torture wasn’t good enough.

What to do?

The first thing is when you see this:

Don’t Panic!

And the second thing to do is pull out some TAPE.

Because look:

Tape pulls those ticks right up! I’ve gotten tick bombed so bad at times that the tape has been wall-to-wall ticks. DISGUSTING! We NEVER go on walks in the woods around here without tape.

Look at what the macro feature on my camera does to that tape:

Can you see their evil little legs??? They are about the size of the head of a pin. Smaller. There have been a couple of times where we have been out on a walk and forgotten the tape. Someone gets bombed and we just run for the yurt, yelling. It’s pretty funny. “Tick Bomb! ARRRGGGG!!!” We make a joke about it, to stave off the horror and panic. And I buy lots and lots of tape. It never hurts to have extra.

You can pop seed ticks between your fingernails if you’re feeling vengeful, or you can burn the tape, maybe, and maybe do a little victory dance around the flames.

I knew a gal who lived a couple of miles from here who thought she had a spider infestation in her carpets—you could run your hand across the shag and a little hail of tiny bugs would spring up out of them. SEED TICKS. The exterminator was so grossed out he went home to take a shower. She was from the north and had never seen ticks before. Her dogs had brought them in. NASTY. Don’t worry, every one lived. And they didn’t even have to burn down the house.

Moral: don’t give up walks in the beautiful woods. Don’t live in fear! Just don’t leave home without your tape.

Finally, although this post is about ticks, look at what a yellow jacket did to little Sophie’s hand:

Poor baby! It swelled up so much she couldn’t make a fist. Mean old yellow jacket.

There are a few advantages to living in town. Not getting Tick Bombed is one of them.

ETA: There is quite a discussion in the comments section on this post. Including a longish reply from me that talks about how to get them off, once they have bitten in. Scroll down to find it—look for the bold print if you don’t want to read the other comments—especially if you’re googling because you’ve got ticks on you and you are freaking out. πŸ™‚

405 thoughts on “seed ticks: the devil’s spawn

  1. Ben Schreckengost

    I got tick bombed with my girlfriend Sept 1, 2013. We were on a long hike in Mark Twain National forrest near Columbia, Missouri. I have hunted mushrooms for years in N.E. Ohio and have never had a run in with Seed Ticks! I have seen plenty Nymphs and Adults, but nothing like this! We jumped into a clorinated pool asap thinking that would help, washed our dogs thoroughly and showered, got in the hot tub, picked em off each other all night! Still itching here….oh and the poor dogs! What an experience!

  2. Robert a

    I am a logger in central nc and also enjoy hunting deer. I have to deal with these pests almost daily. I’ve had so many crawling up my legs you could feel the warmth from their body heat. I never knew they were tick larva I always thought they were just another type of tick. My brother and I have always called them microscopies bc they’re so small you almost need a microscope to see them. I was wondering are the larvae from deer ticks smaller than those from say lone star or black legged ticks since the adult deer tick is smaller? Also I know y’all aren’t really chemical people but some out there are like me and want to be able to walk through the woods without worrying about being eaten alive. in my over 20yrs experience with them the only thing I’ve seen work 100% or pretty close to it for guarding against them is chemicals. permethrin based to be exact. Brands such as sawyers, repel permanon, and duranon make an aerosol spray that work great. If you have sensitive skin I would follow the directions. I use it like I would “off” but just not on the skin. I spray my boots until wet and make sure I get the bottom of my pants legs extra well. I have seen them on my pants after applying but every one was dead. Its wonderful being able to work and be in the woods without becoming a meal for parasites.

    1. Tina in WV

      Thanks much to Maya for this article. And so many great responses to learn from. Wanted to add my 2 cts that may help someone else. Have only been tick bombed once. Luckily caught them as hundreds were crawling up my jeans. Freaked and immediately ripped off my jeans regardless of the mixed group i was in. Tied the jeans shoes and socks in a trash bag. Was given a lift home in my undies in the bed of a pick up truck! Ticks and chiggers are different critters but both respond to the same elimination efforts. I suffer greatly from chiggers and once was so bitten up that I stopped counting at 1500 bites! Nearly went insane from itching. So I got smarter. The permathrin mentioned above is THE most effective barrier for ticks and chiggers. Please use caution it will cause neurological damage to cats when wet and kill fish. Once dry it’s completely odorless and safe. I buy it by the gallon from DIY pest control and mix it to the appropriate concentration in a large tote. ALL of my socks and undies and my camping, fishing, garden clothes get treated at least twice a year. Just dip, wring, spread out to dry.
      Use gloves and avoid prolonged exposure directly to skin when it’s wet. it will cause a chemical burn in the form of itchy welts. I put it in a 2 gallon container to spray shoes and camping gear and even couch cushions, and lawn furniture. It even repels skeeters and flies. By the way, that is how our troops deployed to buggy places treat their clothes.
      Avon has expedition bug guard which comes in a spray can and individual wipes and is also effective. Great for keeping gnats away also. I tried EVERYTHING for the itch. Other than prescription meds, the most effective thing i found was cool mint Listerine! Crazy right?! Dab it liberally on the itchy spots, I use cotton balls, and let it air dry. Even for the worst itches, two applications a day will do you. Lastly, please treat your pets with revolution. Regardless if you are squeamish about chemicals, revolution will protect them and you from lots of nasty critters. OK, really lastly – one of these comments worried about treating kittens too young for chemicals. They won’t like it but a thorough wash with dawn soap will kill fleas dead. Start at head and work back but be very careful to not get soap or water in eyes, ears, or nose and dry them carefully after. Wipe mostly dry with towel then dry more thoroughly with paper towel. Many folks will say never wash kittens but if you are careful around the face it’s safe and beneficial for them if they are suffering from fleas.

  3. gkat

    Hello fellow tick bomb victims,
    I have a few quick fixes and one or two long term solutions. We live in southern Maryland and go through intermittent tick bombings yearly. Our own two acres is surrounded by three hundred more, so we can’t escape these vile creatures. We immediately noticed certain areas of our yard continuously became infested,and tried all sorts of chemical and organic treatments. Some worked for the current infestations, but did nothing to stop the next batches when they spawned. After some serious thought it occured to me that perhaps my infested areas were that way because of what isn’t there,hence making it an agreeable place to spawn. I spent some serious time examining those areas of my property that never got any nests. My herb garden was one, my rose trellis, and my picket fence line out front. The only thing they all had in common was MINT! I plant mint in areas that I don’t want to weed whack so as not to damage my other plants. It has been 4 years now, and I grow more mint than anybody! I planted the entire perimeter of our yard densely with all sorts of mint types, peppermint,spearmint,Orange and even chocolate mint. The stuff is glorious andop spreads rampantly. I harvest it often and dry it for future use. Many ingredient labels on all the stuff we tried before had menthol in them, a mint derivative. My yard remains tick free, but there’s still the woods! Enter the dried mint. We bathe our dogs and cat in the tub with a cup of the crushed dried mint every week of the year. Continous use alters their “blood” smell so ticks avoid them. Took the dogs a while to get used to this nice smelling stuff . We were relentless though and they finally stopped trying to roll around in stuff they thought made them smell more doggie. For those of you with animal infestations right now, get out your Vicks vapor rub! Scoop a handful and rub it all over your animal, into their skin, not their fur. Obviously it gets on the fur too, but its the skin that emits their natural scent. If you keep your pets indoors, use an old sheet to cover their sleeping area,not a blanket. The vicks also seems to soothe any bites they already have,scratching lessens. Once ticks are dead give a bath with shampoo to remove the oily feel, and then give them a bath with mint. Mint teabags will do(12 or more) if you have no dry mint. Pure mint extract works for all of us animal and human alike. Mix with water and put in a plant mister and douse your clothing well before your next hike. Spray those pets too, no such thing as to much mint. My house smells like Christmas year round, and so do my pets. You do get used to it and frankly it smells better than my dogs used to at Christmas! One last thing, about that tape…take it up a notch…Double sided tape! Do your shoes, tuck pants in socks and tape them around . Do the same with shirt or jacket cuffs or bare wrists and ankles if its hot out. Mint grows almost year round and comes back thriving, so plant now! Spray tick patches in your yard with mint oil (rain won’t wash oil off) every week until those beasts have departed. Once your mint perimeter has grown you won’t need that weed whacker much anymore either. Any mint that grows out of bounds
    into your grass can just get cut with the mower. Have been clean and itch free for awhile now and can enjoy my little patch of paradise. Try it! Gkat

    1. creeklifeinparadise

      Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for putting that together! You are flippin’ fantastic!!! I live a half mile into the woods alongside a creek. My dog came back from out in the yard covered in hundreds of tiny ticks!!!! This works SOO WELL and my family and my pooch and I are SOO thankful!!!

      1. Madman30

        Garlic also helps the same way as mint I feed my dogs and myself a clove of garlic and repelled all the biting bugs and we don’t smell like garlic I also plant it in my yard with mint and witchhazel alongside lavender and most of the aromatic herbs

      2. Amanda

        Iam a root Hunter and after my dad had 17 removed by Dr I started using rubbing alcohol and it don’t stop them but it knocks them way back if spray around ur body every 15 mins or so and it keeps all the other bugs and masqitos away

  4. Kathy

    My sister is having problems now with seed ticks. At first she thought she had bed bugs. The bug guy confirmed these are seed ticks. She had starting treating with diatomaceous earth since she initially thought they were bed bugs. Long story short, it appears to be working. This post has been very helpful, these little suckers are indeed the spawn of satan.

    1. Beth

      I just got Tick Bombed and it was the absolute worst. I have bites all over me. Any tips to make the itching less horrible? Topical Benadryl has done nothing…

  5. Ronni

    I just came back from a walk in the woods with one of our dogs. The idea had been to walk some of his energy out before this Dane / APBT’s ridiculous amount of energy caused him to take a flying leap right on the head of a four pound chihuahua. I originally was only going to go walking down the road with him, but the woods next to our land looked so nice, all covered in shade. So in we went.

    I got about half an hour into this little slice of heaven, giggling to myself about my brilliance in wearing out the dog. *tee hee, giggle, giggle* About this time I looked down and noticed an awful lot of pollen on the top of my sandal clad feet. Odd. Didn’t realize there would be so much pollen out in the fall. Hmmm…… *reaches down to brush off pollen, totally freaks out when she realizes it’s bugs*

    Run home!!! No, get bugs off!!! No, run home and then get the bugs off!!! No, bugs might bite in the meantime, get bugs off now! Too dark in the wonderful shaded woods, need sunlight! Gah!!!!!

    Good news is I’m still alive and only have a few bites. I managed to find a sunny spot in the woods to pick them off which was not easy with so many of them, so tiny and NO TAPE!! I got home and hopped on line to figure out what the heck it was and here I am.

    Thank you for a great post. Tick bomb is so appropriate a name!

    1. Terresa

      This is such a laughable read! I know what you experienced was horrible and I do sympathize, but your writing has the ability to send the reader into hysterics! I am so glad I upon this thread!

  6. caity

    Ohhh thank you maya and thank you al gore for the internet. Can you imagine how much crazier we’d all feel if we were dealing with this in isolation?? I went for a hike with my dog 4 days ago in St. Francisville, LA, just upriver from baton rouge. On the drive home I started to get the creepy crawlies and then, much worse, I actually SAW the creepy crawlies. All over me and my doggie. After a miserable ride home I jumped in the shower and pulled the dog in with me and threw away or washed all hiking clothes. I thought they were chiggers until i saw them still stuck to my dog just now and noticed that they pop like little bloody water balloons. Now, 4 days later, the itching is miserable but I don’t see anymore live bugs anywhere, not the bed or furniture or on our skin (haven’t since day 1). My dog still has dozens of them embedded in his skin, though, but when I pull them off they don’t move and seem dead… are they?? Should I just let this run its course at this point or am I bound to start seeing more live ones soon? Will they fall off my dog eventually or should I go for the dip (or is it too late?) Either way I’m not going back into the woods anytime soon.

    1. lois

      Get them off the dog it will do health damage and poor dog is miserable and they dont show it like we do .
      Yes as they fall off they will get into your carpet or house and have trillions of babies..

      I just picked off over five hundred off my dog in two days. I have treated the house and yard and vacuumed daily thought i had them all and a small kitten came to visit .. wow appetizer special.. all over again so they are not gone yet .. will take mint water and spray my carpets for the next few days
      But please get them off the dog.. start with a dawn bath and just pick them off and put them in soapy water solution.. they will live so I flush them .. use the mint therapy above …great idea and I got the pill for my dog and have not seen a flea or tick in weeks

  7. caity

    Update… going to the vet for a tick dip as soon as they open. I realize now that these bastards Are alive and presently feeding on his blood. Some are quite big now that I started pulling them off. Weird that I don’t have any on myself though (have checked and been checked thoroughly), just tons of tiny bump bites. Do they not typically dig in on humans?

  8. Tom

    The reason that tick larva (aka seeds) do not contain or transmit diseases is because they have not had the opportunity to contract a disease yet. Ticks feed only once during three of their four life cycles (larva, nymph, & adult). It is during these feedings that ticks contract or transmit diseases. As a result the larvae that have latched onto you are attempting their first feed.

  9. Miriam

    Some pathogens can be transmitted transovarial though, which means from the mother to the egg and hence the larvae. But the percentage of larvae which get infected by the mother is very low

  10. jan

    windex spray will get them off and kill them. now if i could just find a cure for the itch i would be a happy camper

    1. Josh

      NOT TRUE! Do not listen to this. I have heard the same thing and tried windex and believe me IT DOES NOT WORK. I used windex and still have hundreds crawling on me. Thankfully I had on black jogging pants and I could see them and know windex was not effective. I ran home immediately and washed them off.

  11. Dana

    Thanks so much for the info as well as the giggles. My Yorkie always runs in to the field next door to do his business & go for a run with our Blue Tick (that’s ironic). Several times I have found little poppy seed like bugs on my bed. I guess they have been on my dog long enough to feed & drop. I never see them on the dog, just the ones on my bed. your info has cleared up my confusion as to why the ticks are not on my dog but all over my bed.

  12. Ardoe

    I woke up this morning crawling with seed ticks on my face and in my hair. One of my kitties came in and decided to cuddle. He’d just come in from outside here in the Ozarks. I was in the showe before I was really awake! I don’t like winter but am already longing for it! πŸ™‚

    1. Terresa

      Holy shit! I would have screamed the house down and suffered nightmares for the rest of my life after that experience!

    2. Cat Stewart

      I am freaking out for you right now!!!!!!!!!! I am not sure I would survive such an experience. I am not afraid of much but spiders and ticks will send me into hysterics every time!! Waking up to find them on my face would have been too much for me to handle. Definately a heart attack waiting to happen !!!! Sorry about your terrible wake up call, hope the rest of your day is better!!!!

    3. Carol Stewart

      Happened to me two nights ago. Woke up to find them crawling out of my hair and onto my face, neck and chest. I freaked out and had a hot shower and hair scrubbing at 2:30am! Just had the whole house sprayed and fumigated today

  13. Dudley Stamps

    Itching Tick Bites!
    My Doctor prescribed some Meloxicami/Lidocaine/topiramate Cream in a strength of 0.3/5/3 % mixture for my Chronic Back Pain. It is worthless for my back pain but I found it to be very beneficial for relieving the terrible Itching Pain for most any Insect bite, especially those Nasty worthless Ticks form Hel! I awoke a couple of days ago with one of those Low life SOB’s on the tender web between one of my fingers! If I had not had this Lidocaine Cream I would have scratched and rubed my skin completely off! Get your Doctor to precribe some for you. You get 2 pump bottles of it with about the volume of an under arm deodorent container! This will be enough to last you and your Spouse for years for it only takes a very small amount to stop the Itching and it really works Great! It only last for about 30 minutes or so then you must apply more but I do not think I will ever be without any of it ever again!
    Here in Georgia I pick off Hundreds of the large ticks year
    and probably a Thousand of those Nasty Seed Ticks!

    1. Beverly Hochee

      Thank-you so much for the information! I will get some. I have been giving my dog Benadryl twice daily for a couple of months, now, because I have not been able to get rid of the ticks. This article gave me a number of new ideas, but the itch-killer is of paramount importance to me at the moment. My dog is infested and he sleeps with me!

    2. NAN

      Greetings from EAST QUOGUE, NEW YORK. .OMG…. Thank you ..thank you..T H A N K Y O U !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After my initial freak out..crazy dance , shower and scrub down..I kept finding them on me ..eating into my skin and the crazy itching!!!ugh..they are soooooo hard to see and reach..i have to try all these helpful remedies for me ,my pup and our entire house …but at least i can stop itching while doing it..u r a life saver!

  14. kathy lee

    the tape is a winner i take duct tape and turn it inside out putting the sticky part on the outside. i tape this around my ankles, and as high as my calves. it acts like a fly paper of sorts. every tick chigger that brushes my legs get stuck to the tape and never make it to my skin.i dream of panty hose made of tape to put on and then peel the back off and expose the sticky. right noe my ankle look like i have a disease from the bites,where i went for a run on my trail and was out of duct tape. pepperment oil and cloves work great!!and are organic. thats what i spray on my yard and it doesn’t kill the toads. it the vets best brand i get it at petco. seed ticks have almost caused me to sell my land and move back to the smokies where we never experienced very many ticks. in dunlap which is north of chattanooga, and some mountains in n.c are the perfect altitude for breeding ticks. i also get huge bags of canning cloves and sprinkle them heavily on my yard. when it rains it really smells nice!and the ticks will evacuate the area. my next feat is to grow mint and cloves all thru my woods. i also buy benadryl spray in a small pump bottle. this really works better than anything. except it puts me in a sleepy comatose state. another thing i do is soak in heavey hot epsom salt water . it draws the poison out of the bites. it is a daily war in august and september. i have pray to GOD, GOD you created these pests ,please tell me how to battle them, he then said grow the mint and cloves. which i am going to try. GOOD LUCK!!

  15. Daniel

    Red pin-sized bugs are chiggers not seed ticks!

    Was recently tick-bombed so found my way to this page, but found someone in the comments referring to a “tick-bombing” by tiny red bugs. Chiggers!

    1. Deb Dennis

      BS!!!!!! This was my first experience with a tick bombing and let me tell you Chigger’s DON’T latch on and bleed you til they are engorged! Please visit these woods and get some experien ce before you post!

  16. barbie

    another good way to quickly get rid of seed ticks and kill the little beggars at the same time is to rapidly rub your skin. The heat from the friction along with the physical action of rubbing takes care of them. Unfortunately doesn’t work if they have gotten into your hair. I once had my two year old with seed ticks all over her scalp. Yikes!

  17. Terrijo

    Pure white vinegar…spray yourself…let it dry. After it air dries the itch will be gone. Just don’t start scratching again

  18. Becky C.

    We just came back from a trip to the country to visit my husband’s parents. We’re used to doing tick checks, but not like this! My son totally got tick bombed! Poor guy itched so bad. I’m glad to know he shouldn’t get sick. And for the itching? Essential oils! Mix lavender and malaleuca and rub on all the bite sites. You can add some baby oil or coconut oil to make it spread easier if you have a big area to cover. Within like 2 minutes he hardly itched AT ALL. Now I just have to fight off the heeby jeebies every time I get an itch for the next week. Blahahaugh!

  19. Lester S.

    Five days ago if I’d been queried for the definition of ‘tick bomb’, I’m sure I’d have been more glib than I am today having met one on the Elizabeth Isles of Mass. I didn’t know such a thing existed when I went traipsing through a blackberry patch. I didn’t see them until too late, nor did I realize their evil colonization plan. Today my body has approximately 500-plus bites in every, and I do mean, EVERY conceivable location. One wonders if they didn’t democratically divide my body up before sallying forth at warp speed to bite and conquer. And now, I am a human itch. I can’t think beyond the itching. Perhaps someone has some advise before I pull the skin off my body?

    1. Shar57

      Lester , Yours almost don’t sound like ticks. They sound like bird mites or mouse or rat mites. They r impossible to get rid of it seems. They get in ur clothing bedding carpet skin hair. Pets.
      Sometime other family members get them. Sometimes not.
      They get in ur car and can infest your work place. The itching is overwhelming at nite. They go through several different stages. If you still have these months after uve quit going for walks, please read about them further. I see this post is old.
      But it might help someone else.
      Take care

  20. nick denner


  21. Ann

    Thanks for this article. Just got back from church picnic and found my 2 littles covered from the waist down. Smallest had them as high as his neck. Hubby and myself also had them. I could tell they were ticks ( hubs thought chiggers) but had not heard of seed ticks. Absolutely awful. Devil spawn is right! We bathed the smalls and scraped them clear and hubby and I doused ourselves with Off and then scrubbed a layer of skin off to get the poison and the – now dead- vampires. Sprayed couch and purse too. We live backed up to some woods but don’t wander in it and none of our animals seem to ever have had this. We are never going it picnic again without cedar oil,skin so soft, and biohazard suits!!!

  22. Kristina

    Thank you, thank you so much for this humorous article on the very day I found that what I thought were teeny tiny burrs on my child actually had teeny tiny legs. I totally freaked out. Hers had been on long enough (3 days) that they had attached and I had to pull each sucker off with tweezers. ANy advice how to get them out of her scalp? She’s sitting with a basic h2 rinse and a plastic bag on her head (treating it like it’s lice).

    1. maya Post author

      No need for a plastic bag! You can pick them off, but even if you don’t, they’ll fall off on their own in a day or so, gross, but they aren’t going to spread or breed on the hair or anything, the way lice do.

  23. Suzanne

    I’ve been sitting here dying laughing!!! Laughing at your witty article and dying because MY ANKLES ITCH SOOOO BADLY!!! I got tick bombed this weekend while out in the woods geocaching. Not my first time but I never saw/felt them until I woke up at 5 a.m. With both feet/ankles itching so much I could tear my skin off. I also just realized that since I didn’t initially see them, they could be in my car and my bed! At any rate, thanks for getting me to laugh through my excruciating itching!!!

  24. Margie

    Chiggers and seed tick are not the same…..seed tick the demons from hell are totally different than chiggers you find on certain wild flowers

  25. Murphy

    We looked at some land in Arkansas – and little did we know – we were tick bombed! When we returned home to Wisconsin, we found a few of these little pests attached in our nether regions. Upon further looking found several of them attached all over the place – and after frantically picking them off, found they had dropped off everywhere around our house – our bed, dogs bed, the couch, the carpets etc.
    Sometime ago we bought a VAPamore steam cleaner, thinking it would be good for cleaning carpets. It really wasn’t (found out later it was more for killing bedbugs, I thought it was a carpet cleaner LOL), but I’m so glad we never sold it, because I have now steamed everything nook and cranny in our entire house, twice, going for a third time today just in case, and I have to report we are no longer finding the seed ticks alive (and no dead ones yet today, wish me luck that I won’t find anymore and will be done). I added tea tree oil, eucalyptus, camphor and lavender to the steam vac water. I’ve also washed everything in hot water and put it into a hot dryer. I put our blankets and the dogs blankets and everything else- pillows, etc. into the dryer at least once a day for 15 minutes on high. I read this will kill them and appears to be working.
    Thanks for all the advice above, will definitely keep tape on hand when hiking in the south, and we already have mint in our garden- so will start bathing the dogs in mint and maybe us too!
    My advice for if they infest your house and you can’t/don’t want to use poisons, get a VAPamore. It’s expensive but now I feel well worth the price. The steam is hot enough to kill the seed ticks and presumably any other pests, if you add essential oil your house will smell great, and the bonus is a really clean house.
    PS: the red itching dots from the bites showed up on us a couple days later, making us realize that I wasn’t going insane while thinking I was getting bitten in bed all night long. I really was. Talk about freaking the fuck out! I hate these things, and you are definitely right, they are the spawn of Satan! Thanks again for the tape idea. (PSS: wrote this on my phone, sorry if there are any weird typos)

    1. luming

      just read about the tape just now but about 3 days ago just thought of using it when I saw little crawlers on my sofa, so happy to take revenge on them by popping the little bloodsuckers. dogs are the matter how much we treat them with dog’s anti ticks meds ,still there are more coming maybe from my garden, plants and ground..still have to try the vicks vaporub ob my doggies..thanks for the infos…

  26. Tee

    My daughter had to do a mock accident for her fire science class. She was a “casualty” so she had to lie in the tall grass near a lake for about 4 hours or so. She came home with 1 tick or possibly 2 (they were very tiny) and a billion seed ticks. We thought they were chiggers, but they were no red. My aunt said…NOPE seed ticks. Since they were in her hair and everywhere…We took RID, got her hair wet, suds up her entire body with the RID, including hair, Clothing into the washer, then later extra long in the dryer. Vacuumed the floor and swept it good everywhere she was. The after 10 mins, showered off the RID, double washed her hair and scrubbed her body with soap in which I put several drops of tee tree oil. She smelled like an old stump, but no itching really at all. Never heard of them before, but I will certainly watch for them now. We picked off all we could see with tweezers and put them in a prescription bottle in case they were ticks. Worked out well, we know better for the future. Love the article !!! and thank you without it…I would still be thinking they were black chiggers from some weird species of them.

  27. Charlie

    Tick bombed for the second time in my life 9/28/2014 in Greene County, Georgia. Same area of property as last year when I got tick bombed. I’ll learn my lesson some day. I looked at my hand and they were all over it. Shed my outer layers and sealed them in a trash bag. I read put your clothes in the dryer before washing them for about 15 minutes to kill them. Death to Ticks!!!

  28. Pat

    I HATE seed ticks!!! I noticed this week I kept waking up with bites. Yesterday, after seeing I had a seed tick big enough to attach, I got them off me, cleaned house, vacuumed everywhere, washed all our clothes in hot water, and still woke up this morning with 2 more attached. Today, I have pest control coming.

    1. Deb Dennis

      they can burrow! If you get inflamation from the bite your skin can swell up putting the tiny seed tick under the skin . UGh!

    2. Tlj

      I need to know the same… Four doctors and a month, still having troubles. Being treated for stress and I didn’t get stressed until after I developed this crap! Can feel them, pick them out. My mom n daughter have helped, so I know it’s not in my head! GRRRRR!!!!!

  29. Ryan

    Wow! I thought we had it bad here in Southern Virginia. I have to deal with tick bombs in the late spring and early summer. However, they are gone by September and getting rare in August. I see some of you have been hit in the fall. Thank God we don’t have that issue. I will say this, ours seem to be more aggressive. You will never make it far in this part of the world after getting bombed without knowing it. These spawns from hades start biting just as soon as they reach skin. So I have never had to worry about them getting in the house unawares. I have lived in this part of Virginia all of my life and we just started getting these spawns about 20 years ago. I know they have always been here in some numbers but as a child growing up in the 70’s we played in the woods constantly and never encountered them. My children cannot approach the woods without multiple bombings today. I blame the increase in the deer herd for the tick explosion.

  30. Kathleen Davies

    Organic apple cider vinegar works well for the itching associated with see tick bites. Soak a cotton ball in ACV and apply it to the bite. Let it sit for a few minutes & it will draw out the tick saliva that causes the intense itching. If you have already itched your bite, the apple cider vinegar will sting a bit. You may have to reapply if the itching returns, but sweet relief for awhile I worth it! Good luck. Tick season is now upon us again.

  31. Jay

    Here in my country we don’t have winter, so all year round we have ticks. I don’t know about other people but my dogs are COVERED with ticks, and so is the entire house. I assume there may be billions of seed ticks, as I’ve seen them in large clumps before. The first time I didn’t know and I used my hand to pick up what looked like brown, fluffy, dust. BAD IDEA. Next thing you know there were clumps everywhere, I grabbed tape and the large clumps stuck there. I thought I was the only one to use tape until I found your blog post. It’s more terrifying when you tape up a whole large mass of ticks than scattered tick bombs. Also one word of advice, try not to pop them! I popped a large tick once (the kind filled with blood), and a few days later tick bombs emerged! I suggest you burn them in the fireplace (though I don’t have one since we have summer all year round) or what I do is tape up their legs and throw them in the trash and hope they die. If I had three wishes, eradicating the world of fleas and ticks would be my first.

  32. Jennifer Clark

    i just noticed these things in my house! I thought I was hallucinating when I saw moving dirt on my baby!!! You can put your hand on my couch sand they get on you. I washed my dogs and they have frontline on them. How do I get rid of them?

  33. Ellen

    Regarding pulling off the older ticks (I don’t know about seed ticks – I figure them, too) be careful. The head may break off in your skin and cause itching forever! it’s best to put some oil or vasceline around the tick’s head/body to close the breathing hole. In a minute or two, if you can’t wsit for it ti bsck out, use a pair tweezers, grip the part of the tick sticking out of the skin (but don’t crush it)and “rock” the tweezers and body back and forth as you gently pull on the tick. You may have to do this sevetal times, but the whole tick, body and head, will ease out into your tweezers. It’s important to not let that head break off in the skin.

    1. Deb Dennis

      we just read that putting ANY chemical, soap, vaseline, nail polish, etc on a tick can cause them to panic and eject (vomit) back blood that could cause disease. ( thank goodness that seed ticks have not picked up diseases (YET) i do hope that bit of wisdom is backed up by science not just supposition.

  34. Caleb

    YES! They can live and survive in a house; we’ve been dealing with an infestation of them for about 2 years now. It was horrific at first, they were everywhere. Tick bombs under the couches, in the cushions, in the carpet; these little fuckers even crawled up the walls to hide out in the popcorn ceiling!! Now these little shits are falling down onto my computer table and crawling up my screen as I type this! They are almost gone, but I think at least one more hatched and that’s where these new larvae are coming from.

  35. Lisa

    this did not make for good reading material before bedtime. My dog got them in our bed. I’ve showered (probably unnecessarily) ,changed the sheets and banished the dogs for tonight. I noticed them on the sheets and me, although they were not attached. Now, whenever I open my bedroom door I get dog bombed. They are waiting for their moment to bully their way in, after all it’s bedtime and they want to snuggle up in the bed. Not tonight, they are in the doghouse! πŸ˜‰

    1. Barb

      Yes, I know that experience! Before bed every night I sprinkle sublimed sulfur powder between my sheets and on the spread where the dogs sleep. It stops the itching that occurs in bed immediately. You can get regular sulfur powder, but it feels grainy. It kills tick, large and small. Fels Naptha (strong but reliable) soap in the shower after a walk in the woods. A spray (all natural smells nice) called “Don’t Bug Me” on lower legs and neck and upper arms before walking in the woods and long grass. Been over a year since I have really suffered, and I now fully enjoy the outdoors–but I NEVER go without these measures.

      1. maya Post author

        You put sulpher powder in your SHEETS? Why not just flay your skin off? Or nuke your house?? πŸ™‚

  36. cmm

    If you are in a rural area and if you are into raising chickens, consider getting some guinea hens. Our friends have a mixed flock (chickens, guineas and a couple of ducks) and they got the guineas specifically because of tick issues on the property. Between their goats eating the kudzu and the guineas eating the ticks, they have a much more livable yard now. Guineas can be a bit of a pain in the butt in their own right, but in their favor, they EAT TICKS!

    1. Deb Dennis

      That is a very environmentally responsible suggestion! I think. Seems every “solution” has another potential disaster.
      This was our first encounter with these micro menaces from the nether regions. Hubby & I travel with our 2 cats and our RV for work. We decided to spend a few week-days at a state park in VA. My 18month old cat is a “trail kitty” if he sees a trail he won’t rest until he has dragged me as far down the trail as I will go.
      We do use a chemical (Revolution) on my kitty to banish fleas & ticks. He was born in a trailer park in florida where the owners were attracting, feeding, trapping, spaying & neutering the stray population. We christened him Harry Thomas and discovered that the yard and kitten were infested with fleas so bad he couldn’t even play for scratching. Being too small to be treated we had to resort to flea combing, tweezers, and alcohol to drown the captured fleas. From 6wks old to 3 months old every time we took Harry out for a walk we had to comb him for fleas due to the SnowBirds inability to properly treat their pets for our southern pests. Even after he turned 3 months & finally reached 5 lbs & old enough to get the topical we would typically get 2-6 fleas per walk in the RV parks.
      This time we were 2 weeks past due for applying Revolution but since Harry LOVES his comb and insists on having his harness removed immedietly upon returning from our walks then insists on getting his fur flea-combed we didn’t think it would be a problem. In 18 months we have only “missed”2 ticks long enough for them to attach. We have a tick puller which is a metal prong/V that we can slide under the tick and pry UP rather than tweeze & squeeze.
      This time we found a tick on Mommy’s arm (killed before bitten) and one on my leg. One tiny deer tick on kitty man. jBut he kept itching! When he asked me to rub his tummy I knew something was up, so did and i scratched off what i thought was a scab with perhaps a tick head causing the itching. Then I noticed the “scab” was moving. Magnifying glass showed a nearly clear tick, complete with “Lone Star” spot. Checked other “scabs” wearing my craft glasses at 4x and a bright spotlight – must have pulled 60 off the first night! Went straight to the vet in the AM to get a refill on his Revolution. It did take the revolution about 36 hours to kill all the ticks, but they are GONE! We pulled an additional 48 off after the vet at which point my hubby asked me if I tried on mascara at the store – when i looked in the mirror i had a tiny purple tick attached at the corner of my lower eyelid!!!! Now I have a black eye – thanks to a seed tick that was so small it was nearly invisible.
      too long winded – grr… but really appreciate all these stories and advice. Gonna raid my daughters mint garden immediately.!!!!!

  37. Jessica

    LINT ROLLERS!!! I just got seed tick bombed for the first time! AWFUL!GROSS! TALK ABOUT GETTING THE HIBBIE JIBBIES!!!! I’m from Alabama so ticks are usually a problem here. My old cat came in as usual. He ate as usual then went to my bed as usual. When I went to pet him I saw these tiny looking bugs crawling everywhere! I freaked out! They were all over him and spreading to my bed.I am assuming he brought them in. I grabbed the lint roller and started lint rolling him and my bed! They do indeed stick to tape/lint rollers. This is day 2 and I am only seeing a couple here and there. I think maybe just where they fell off from his walk in. This is INSANE! I HATE IT!!!!! Everything has been cleaned and washed in hot water and I’m still seeing these tiny bastards! I literally lint rolled my daughters carpet just to be on the safe side! But tonight saw ONE just ONE on her stuffed animal!!!! REALLY????? GO AWAY SEED TICKS! YOU ARE THE DEVIL!!!!!!! I’m so sorry that anyone would have to go through this. I do have chickens and I hope they find all of them and eat them!!!!!

  38. Adam

    Gooooooooooodddddd these things are eating me alive holy shit man. I’m in temperanceville Virginia right in the Eastern Shore basically and these things are insane. If you walk through any woods for 5 minutes you will come out covered in ticks little bastard bombs, whatever the hell. I’m taking my lighter and burning them all up and down my arms and legs as I speak. I can feel the tiniest one crawling on me while I’m watching TV hours later. All I can do is keep a couple trusty Bic lighters next to my recliner and just exterminate those little bastards as soon as I feel them moving. This is wrecking my nerves severely. I love being in the woods and came from Florida to this nightmare. It’s not even worth going in the woods they are so severe right now. I’m out of clothes because I keep burning them all they’re so infested.

    1. Ate up

      Just bought 11 acres 2 weeks ago here in middle Tennessee decided to take a stroll to the back 4 acres of my property yesterday (in the woods). Came back and felt my skin crawling but didn’t think long enough to consider seed ticks. Last night I went to bathe and noticed numerous welts with dark specks in the centers all over my legs, torso, arms, back & neck. Started picking at them to see if they’d flake off & then noticed under close examination exactly what they were. Yup… I’m cover from head to to with hundreds of these raised red welts that never stop itching! Arrgggh!!!!! I’m about to claw the flesh off my entire body!!!! I actually think that exposed raw flesh would be more tolerable than this continual itching! they’re even into the hairline at the top of my neck and behind my ears! I even have bites on my eye lids. Please, somebody just shoot me…..pleeeeease?

      1. Greg

        For intense itching go to a MD and they will prescribe tiny white tablets called HYDROXYZINE HCL. 10 mg. It stops the itching and might even reduce the welts some, but they make you a bit sleepy. One pill only lasts about a day so you gotta take ’em daily.

      2. Don Smith

        I went to er after being tick bombed, and Dr. there said he had heard of instances where vitoms had actually committed suicide from the infernal itching, tough it out.

  39. Jen

    Moved to Long Island two weeks ago and have been exploring a lot. There are tons of deer here so I’ve been checking for regular ticks. Last week my forearms flared up with tons of mysterious bites.

    Today I got tick bombed (thank you for helping me understand what was happening to me) on my ankles and god knows where else because I just saw one on my fingernail as I’m typing this. They’re so godamn small I can barely see them. Must not have even noticed when they got my arms last time. I thought bedbugs but now it makes perfect sense. I didn’t even notice them today until I got home from the hike, ew. They probably made it all the way up to my scalp by now. I’m sure tomorrow my ankles will be on fire. Well anyway thanks again for helping me realize!

  40. Greg

    First thing to do after taping them off, to sooth the itching, before delaying your treatment for even 10 minutes by running off to the store or pharmacy, is use whatever you have on hand at home. I had good results with using any of the following: Calamine Lotion, 1% Hydrocortisone Cream, Baking Soda mixed with oil, Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide, or a 50/50 mixture of chlorine bleach and water. I bet ammonia would also do the trick, but I didn’t have any. Now you can go to the store in comfort, or even to the doctor. Mine prescribed, a pack of antihistamine pills, a medium strength steroid cream, and doxycycline as a preventative for Lyme Disease (but really not necessary, unless you get bitten latter by a tic in later stages of life, which is what happened to me. One of them hung on to my clothing apparently and grew up and bit me two weeks later, leaving the tell tale, bulls eye pattern associated with Lyme Infection).

  41. LisaB

    Thank you so much for the info, now I know what has waged war on my waist and legs! I finally found one of the tiny jerks as it bit in after a day of thinking I had an allergy and ran across your page. I live in GA and surprisingly had never had this issue and spend a load of time outside and walking in the woods, sitting on logs and being blissfully unaware of the evil demons. I guess my luck ran out this past weekend AND it’s fall, come on! I counted 35 bites before I gave up. So after locating 2 which looked like tiny black dots on the bites (think half a pepper fleck) and the wayward traveler unsuccessfully searching for a clear spot, I appear to be critter free. My legs are covered in the most itchy bites I have ever had in life. Epsom salt baths and coconut oil applied after are helping a tiny bit. Also sprinkled food grade diatomaceous earth at baseboards on area rugs and on my bed because ewww and also NOPE.

  42. stephanie wallace

    I think that i may have seed ticks,i find little white things on me EVERYWHERE! They are barely visible,but the sting and itch are overwhelming.I stay in an apt with my sister,her dog and cat!! Well since she cant see them,she doesnt believe me.I tried telling her we need the apt fumigated but again she just says im on drugs and just seeing things! my mom also doesnt believe me. The itch and pain got so bad Sat i went to the hospital,well without any examination,no bloodwork,nothing! Well they too pretty much accused me of doing drugs and ask me to leave the hospital!!! I did and went straigjt to another hospital. And they also treated me the same!! Yes i have a past,but thats been a year ago! I know something is biting me,i hurt all over,and find myself expierincing signs of menagitis! I am hep c diagnosed at 16 im 42 now! Noone will give me a chance to show them pics i have took or even botherd examinging me. I AM TERRIFIED! I HAVE NOONE TO HELP ME GET THESE THINGS OFF!!! IVE DONE THE BLEACH AND ALL BUT DOES NO GOOD IF I CANT FUMIGATE THE HOME!!! I FEEL LIKE IM GETTING EAT ALIVE!!PLEASE,PLEASE HELP ME CONVINCE THEM IT IS SEED TICKS!!!!


  43. Elle Broo

    i have been using the store brand mentholated powder mixed half and half with diatomaceous earth and brush it onto my dogs and keep their out side area dusted also we use diatomaceous powder in the chicken’s beds, we used to have the decorative grasses and i put one frond into a 2 gal size zip lock baggie because it was pretty and i wanted to dry it,,,,i looked a few days later and the bag was full of tiny ticks and i went to the plant and the tubes the fronds grow on were filled with ticks feasting on the juices inside of those tubes….poured gallons of vinegar onto that decorative grass heap and destroyed it….helping a lot i believe…we can get the mentholated body powder in our local super market for $1.oo otherwise it’s very expensive that’s why i mix it half and half in a 2 gallon zip lock baggie and then put it into the powder containers, the best container is the large sprinkle cheese also…..hope this helps….ps…we purchase the cheapest food grade diatomaceous earth we can find online…its the consisteny of talcum powder also…a bottle of tea tree oil, a spray bottle, one or two drops of tea tree oil in the spray bottle and go at your trees and deck edges and all over …safe for chickens and a tick deterrent…..

  44. Elle Broo

    p.s. we have also had the best of luck with these bites using the cheap brand of head lice shampoo….rub it onto the bites and just leave it, i always thought i was seeing chiggers…on the back yard black wrought iron furniture and such….hmmm…seed ticks….

  45. Annie

    Great article, you made me choke on my coffee, FUNNY! ..Thanks for the laughs, the vital info (never heard of these in Massachusetts ) …and the shared comradery on the subject of evil demon blood sucking ticks…hate even saying the word! Will check out more of your articles! Thanks again!


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