Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ticks Don't Come Out In The Wash

Date:
October 11, 2007
Source:
US Department of Agriculture
Summary:
Before venturing into tick-infested territory, you used a topical repellent on exposed skin and outer clothing. When you returned, you did a body check and threw your clothes in the wash. But clean clothes may not be tick-free clothes.

Adult deer tick, Ixodes scapularis.
Credit: Scott Bauer

Before venturing into tick-infested territory, you used a topical repellent on exposed skin and outer clothing. When you returned, you did a body check and threw your clothes in the wash. But clean clothes may not be tick-free clothes.

When he found a live lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum) on the agitator of his washing machine, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) entomologist John Carroll decided to find out how tough ticks are. So he bagged up nymphs from two species—the lone star tick and the deer tick, (Ixodes scapularis), the creature that transmits Lyme disease—and put them in the washing machine.

Carroll used a combination of water temperature settings and detergent types to wash the ticks. The majority of lone star ticks survived all the water-detergent combinations with no obvious side effects. Most of the deer ticks lived through the cold and warm water settings as well. But when one type of detergent was used with a hot water setting, only 25 percent of the deer ticks survived.

When it came time to dry, all the ticks of both species died after an hour of tumbling around at high heat. But when the dryer was set to "no heat," about one-third of the deer ticks and more than half of the lone star ticks survived.

Carroll placed the ticks in mesh bags, which kept them from draining away during the rinse cycle and perhaps increased their odds for survival. However, ticks might also survive a sudsy interlude by sheltering in the folds and crevices of a typical load of laundry. Some tick species have been observed to survive hours of submersion in fresh water.

Both adult ticks and nymphs can transmit disease. Carroll’s research reinforces recommendations by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to wash and dry clothes at high temperatures after spending time in areas known to harbor ticks.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by US Department of Agriculture. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

US Department of Agriculture. "Ticks Don't Come Out In The Wash." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071006083356.htm>.
US Department of Agriculture. (2007, October 11). Ticks Don't Come Out In The Wash. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071006083356.htm
US Department of Agriculture. "Ticks Don't Come Out In The Wash." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071006083356.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins