Types of Ticks: Hard Shell vs. Soft Shell

Hard vs. Soft Ticks: What Can They Do?

Small pests like ticks can leave homeowners scratching their heads. They may ask themselves:

  • Can ticks transmit disease?
  • How do I get rid of ticks?
  • Do I have hard or soft ticks?
  • Are deer ticks soft or hard and what’s the difference?

Let’s explore the types of ticks and the difference between soft and hard ticks, diseases transmitted by ticks, and what pest control in northern New Jersey can do for your tick problem.

Two Categories of Ticks

Ticks fall into two categories: hard and soft. Hard ticks have a distinctive hard shell while soft ticks do not. With different lifecycles, these two kinds of ticks pose different threats and transmit a variety of diseases.

Types of Ticks

Hard Ticks

Types Of Ticks: Hard Shell Vs. Soft Shell: Deer Tick

Hard ticks are defined by their tough outer shell. They start by feeding on small pests like house mice, then become large enough to latch onto humans. Though its bite is often painless, the hard tick can feed on a host for weeks if undetected.  

Hard ticks found in New Jersey include:

American Dog Ticks. These dark brown and sometimes spotted ticks transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF). This bacterial disease can cause headaches, rashes, vomiting, and muscle pain. Untreated, RMSF can become life-threatening.

Blacklegged Deer TicksThis dark, reddish-orange tick can transmit Lyme disease causing joint and nerve pain, dizziness, heart palpitations, and facial palsy. Symptoms sometimes aren’t felt until 30 days after a bite.

Lone Star TicksIdentified by a distinctive white spot on its back, lone star ticks can transmit alpha-gal syndrome. Causing a delayed allergy to red meat, alpha-gal syndrome induces stomach pain, rashes, and drops in blood pressure.

Soft Ticks

Types Of Ticks: Hard Shell Vs. Soft Shell: Bat Tick

Though soft ticks lack a hard outer shell, their mouths are located under their bodies and can be very difficult to remove. While they prefer to feed on small mammals, humans may encounter them around bats and other small pest nests in rural areas. Soft ticks can live for 10 years.

You might find these small ticks around rural homes:

Fowl TicksAs the name suggests, these ticks are commonly found around chicken coops. They may cause anemia in chickens causing blood loss and less egg production.

Bat TicksThese pests commonly infest anywhere bats call home. This can include attics, garages, and cabins. In humans, they can cause the rare tick-borne relapsing fever with symptoms including periods of headaches, fever, and nausea.

Tick Control in Northern New Jersey

With multiple types of ticks in New Jersey, preventing and removing them requires diverse solutions. At NJ Pest Control, we can perform a tick inspection and implement a number of preliminary and ongoing cost-effective tick treatments. For 20 years, we have prided ourselves on ongoing education, well-being, and GreenPro-certified environmentally-friendly solutions to your pest problems. Contact us today for thorough, professional service.