CO2 and Ticks

Are ticks attracted to CO2 and trop out of the trees onto the source? Someone said this, and I doubt it, and wonder if anyone agrees.

I have not heard this about ticks. I have heard it about mosquitoes, however, from a source that I consider credible.

From the University of Maine Pest Management Fact Sheet

Evidently they do use CO2 to detect hosts…but I’ve heard that the dropping out of trees part is a myth, and they actually transfer to people from grass and bushes and crawl upwards from there. Notice this source says “plants,” not “trees.”


Yes, some ticks do detect carbon dioxide, according to the Discovery Channel show I saw the other day. I can’t remember the name, but they showed one type of ticks which live in dry climates - deserts, mostly. They demonstrated it by putting a small lump of dry ice in a glass and half burying it in the sand - pretty soon the glass was literally half full of enormous ticks! Not only can they detect the level of carbon dioxide but also the gradient, so they know which direction it is coming from. They lie waiting near water sources and shades, and when an animal comes to rest, they swarm over the animal, suck as much blood as they can (actually more than can fit in their bodies - they urinate while drinking blood, so only the nutrients remain in their bodies), then drop off and wait for the next prey.

Ticks & cryogenics:

I saw a nature show a few years ago where they froze a tick in an ice cube tray for a period of time. Pulled out the ice cube, let it thaw and the tick crawled away!

By the way, regarding deer ticks and Lyme disease. My wife & I go camping quite often and we take our Sheltie along. After one particular outing, we picked a few ticks off of each other, including the dog as prescribed in the above posts. But, I was curious about what a deer tick looks like so I asked my vet for a picture. The interns searched high 'n low for a photo of a deer tick. No luck. Finally, they asked the doc. The vet said we don’t have any photos but they had jar with plenty of dead ones. She retrieved it for me to look at. It was not worth it. Deer ticks are so small - smaller than a pencil tip - that they could be mistaken for dirt. So, BEWARE!