Diseases & Pests

Do ticks live in trees?

Have you heard that ticks can fall from trees onto unsuspecting people and pets? This is a common misconception – ticks do not live in trees. However, here is some information about where ticks do live, and how you can reduce their presence on your property.

  1. Ticks are present in all parts of the United States.
    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Of the many different tick species found throughout the world, only a select few bite and transmit disease to people. Of the ticks that bite people, different species of ticks transmit different diseases.” Click here for the CDC’s U.S. maps of geographic distribution of ticks that bite humans.
  2. Ticks do not fly or jump.
    When a tick is found near a person’s head or neck, it crawled up the body to get there. Ticks transfer to people and animals when they brush against the places where ticks hide. These pests are commonly found in areas with tall grass or thick underbrush. This is why it’s so important to keep the grass on your property clipped, weed the garden and clear brush piles from your property. These actions will reduce the places where ticks can hide. When you can’t do these things, create clothing barriers such as tucking pant legs into socks and tucking in shirts so that ticks can’t gain access to your skin.
  3. Ticks need humidity to survive, and as long as the temperature doesn’t dip below freezing for an extended period of time, ticks manage to stay alive.
    According to Michael W. Dryden, DVM, PhD, professor in veterinary parasitology at Kansas State University, even when temps drop below freezing, ticks are still out there. “They may not be as efficient at attaching themselves to a host, but they’re still alive.” After spending time outdoors in the areas where ticks tend to live, even in winter, it is always a good idea to do a tick check – just in case!

A professional tree care service can help you trim back your trees, shrubs and other woody plants, and work with you to determine the best way to treat your property for pests. Do a zip code search to find qualified tree care in your area.

10 thoughts on “Do ticks live in trees?

  • It’s great that you pointed out where ticks can be commonly found in a yard, areas like tall grass or thick underbrush. Now I know why parents are complaining of tick infestation in their porch. They have thick brush piles just in front of the porch. I heard that they are looking for a tree service company who also carries out tick control service.

  • Thanks for clearing this up. I was at a function and another person was claiming his dog got ticks from the trees in the back yard. I had never heard of this before. Your explanation clarifies that point and also provides useful information as to where they can be a problem so we can take precautions. Thanks for the useful article.

  • Mark Hunter

    My 5 year old son had 15 ticks attached. We spent many hours in the hospital getting them out.
    Today while training my daughter in marital arts we hung an empty diet coke can from our apple tree.
    We just noticed that the can is crawling with ticks.
    Ticks definitely DO live in trees!

    • Julie Mcadams

      What’s the trick w the empty soda can?

  • Yes they do!!!!! At a friend’s house they have short grass, no hedges, no piles leaves or tall grass, just a tree over there deck. We all had 7 ticks on us in less than 10 minutes on the deck.

  • I were horseback riding, my brushed up against a pine tree. I had to stop removed several ticks from his head

  • This is the worse year ever in SW Missouri for the little blood suckers! I walk outside and they just fall on to my hair, shoulders and arms so I know they had to fall either from the sky or the trees. Many others noticing this, too.
    Could a tick possibly survive dropping from an airoplane you think? If so, who is buying their tickets???

  • Adam Davies

    I have literally had a tick fall from a tree onto my shoulder. I noticed it and was able to brush it off right away. So they do fall from trees! Probably not that common though.

  • Rex Alexander

    I came inside from my second story deck this morning where I had only been for about 2 minutes. One end of the deck has some over hanging branches from a nearby. I was under those branches for a minute. Got inside and felt a tick walking on my upper arm.


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