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Where Do Ticks Fit in the Food Chain?

Nov 07, 2023

Find Out Which Animals Eat Ticks (and Vice Versa)

We recently took a look at the mosquito’s role in the food chain, and now it’s time to take a closer look at ticks! Here are some animals that ticks feed on, as well as the animals that eat them (and in this tangled food chain, the same animals can appear on both lists).

Dear in the Forrest

Which Animals Do Ticks Feed on?

Ever wonder what ticks survive on when they aren’t targeting people and our pets? Ticks actually have a very diverse diet, feeding on a wide variety of animal species. It is precisely this variety which results in the spread of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. 


In the larval stage of the tick life cycle, a tick seeks small hosts, like rodents, birds, and even lizards, so they are unlikely to bite your family and pets (and since they are not born with any diseases or infections, they don’t start spreading tick-borne illnesses until after feeding on an infected animal). Later in life, in the nymph and adult stages of the tick life cycle, the tick will start to target larger animals, like raccoons, foxes, deer, dogs, and humans. At this point, they carry a much higher risk of spreading Lyme disease.

Turkeys in the wild

Which Animals Eat Ticks?

However, ticks don’t get to move through the world unscathed! They have plenty of natural predators, including some of the very same animals they feed on.


  • Birds: Certain species of birds, like chickens, guineafowl, and wild turkeys, forage for food on the ground, looking for small bugs like ticks. A chicken can eat an average of 81 ticks in an hour, and a turkey can eat 200 ticks in a day!

  • Frogs and Toads: These amphibians have a healthy appetite for insects and arachnids, including flies, mosquitoes, spiders, and ticks, especially near their aquatic habitats.

  • Lizards: In addition to consuming their fair share of ticks, lizards are great friends to have in your outdoor environment. This is because they are not carriers of Lyme disease, so ticks that feed substantially on lizards are far less likely to spread the disease to humans and our pets.

  • Opossums: Opossums are efficient tick killers, eating up to 5,000 ticks a season. They’re also a hostile host to ticks, either eating or destroying the majority of ticks that try to feed on them in the course of their grooming habits.

  • Squirrels and Chipmunks: These busy little rodents don’t just forage for acorns and the overflow seeds from your bird feeders. They are omnivorous and can also eat small insects, including ticks. 

While all these natural tick predators can be our allies in tick control, they can’t really effectively impact the tick population in your yard (unless you’re willing to host a small zoo on your property). But professional tick control service from Mosquito Hero can!

Mosquito Hero Defends Your Property from Dangerous Ticks

Mosquito Hero’s tick control service aims to eliminate ticks from your property and prevent further tick activity. Our technicians will apply a residual insecticide along property lines, turf and vegetation, and around structures such as dog houses, kennels, sidewalks, pathways, or patios to help protect your household against ticks. 


Find a Mosquito Hero near you, and request a free quote today!

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