The Fascinating Science Of Can Ticks Survive In Water

The Fascinating Science Of Can Ticks Survive In Water

We know that ticks live in shady and moist areas around ground level. They hide inside tall grass and low shrubs to jump on their next prey. We can find ticks around the lawn, garden, and the edge of woods and forests. Their population tends to be higher in elevation, wooded and grassy areas where the creatures they feed on live and roam, including lizards, squirrels, mice, deer, rabbits, birds, and other rodents. They like to be in urban areas and on beaches in coastal areas. Sometimes, we can find ticks in the larvae and nymphs stages in piles of decomposing leaves under trees.

Here, the question is interesting, ” can ticks survive in water?” 

Let us read this article and find the answer to can ticks live in water or not.

Can Ticks Survive In Water?

We all know that ticks can survive for long periods without food and will often enter a state of dormancy if their host dies or they cannot find a suitable blood source. However, whether ticks survive in water is a frequently encountered issue.

It is quite challenging to drown a tick. Ticks can survive under water; therefore, confining them in a water-filled container won’t have any noticeable effects. Recent studies have shown that the blood-feeding ticks survive for a prolonged time when submerged under water. Ticks have an alternate respiratory mechanism called a plastron that absorbs oxygen from the water through cuticular projections and hydrophobic hairs. A study on the American dog tick shows that it engages in plastron respiration.

From the above-stated theory, it is clear that ticks submerged in water over a few days (i.e., two to three days) may survive just fine.

Can Ticks Live Under Water?

Ticks can live in water for short periods but cannot survive underwater indefinitely. To lay their eggs, ticks need to be able to reach the ground, which is why they are typically found in dryer environments. However, if a tick falls into the water, it will eventually drown if it doesn’t find a host to travel to the land since it can’t swim. As a result, it is unlikely that ticks could establish a permanent habitat or livelihood in a water ecosystem.

How Long Can Tick Survive Underwater?

There is no convincing answer for how long ticks can survive underwater, as it depends on several factors, including the type of tick, the temperature of the water, and the level of oxygen present.

Some studies have shown that ticks can survive for up to 48 hours if submerged in water. However, other research suggests that ticks can only survive for a few minutes if completely submerged. The accuracy of these studies is often questioned, as it is difficult to replicate the natural habitat of ticks in a laboratory setting. Nevertheless, it seems clear that ticks cannot live for long periods if they are deprived of air.

Can Ticks Drown In Water?

Given their small size, it is not surprising to wonder if ticks can drown in water. The answer is yes; however, it takes a long time for them to drown. Ticks can float on water for up to 48 hours before they start to drown. However, they will only start to drown if they cannot find a host within that time frame. As a result, simply dropping a tick into a cup of water is not an effective way to kill it.

To drown a tick, you must submerge it in rubbing alcohol or mouthwash mixed with water for several hours. You know what? Deer ticks can survive in a submerged condition underwater for up to two to three days. 

Does Chlorine Kill Ticks?

A swimming pool is a perfect way to cool down in the summer. We all know that swimming pool is chlorinated water. But does Chlorine kill ticks? Let us find out here!

We use chlorine frequently as disinfectants and oxidizers for swimming pool treatment. Chlorine is a weak acid, and it can kill a tick, but it is impossible to get that high of a chlorine level in a swimming pool. Generally, chlorine kills pathogenic microorganisms present in the water. Ticks will not possibly die in chlorinated swimming pool water. Even if you treat the pool with chlorine, salt, or bromine, they are not enough to kill a tick. 

While chlorine can kill ticks on contact, it does not linger in the environment long enough to provide ongoing protection. In addition, water that has been treated with chlorine is often not high enough to kill ticks outright. There are several ways to prevent tick bites but chlorine is not considered an effective method for killing ticks.

Does Salt Water Kill Ticks?

Dousing in salt water can help to kill ticks. Saltwater is hypertonic; it has a higher concentration of salt than the cells of the tick’s body. It causes the tick to dehydrate and eventually die. However, it’s significant to note that this method isn’t always 100% effective, as some ticks may be able to survive the salt water treatment. In addition, this method should only be used as a last resort, as it can also be harmful to the skin.

What Heat Temperature Kills Ticks?

Ticks can endure in a wide range of temperatures but are particularly sensitive to heat. Exposure to high heat is one of the most effective ways to kill ticks.

It has been found that ticks exposed to heat temperatures of 54 °C (130 °F) and above for over an hour will die. Another study shows that the majority of the ticks survived the wash at temperatures between 27 °C and 46 °C (80 °F and 115 °F).

Without having to crush, squeeze, or scrape their carcasses off your clothing, killing the ticks using your dryer is an efficient method. Tumble dry your clothes in the dryer for about 20 minutes on high heat to kill the ticks once you are indoors.

Direct heat application also kills a tick. If you pull off any ticks attached to your body or fur friend, toss them into the fire to kill them instantly.

Does Hot Water Kill Ticks?

We know that high heat temperatures can kill ticks, as does hot water. You may soak the clothes in a hot water tub at a temperature greater than 54 °C (130 °F) or toss the clothes in the washing machine with hot water wash cycles. To be safe, you can also run your dryer at high heat temperatures for a few minutes.

Another simple but crazy thing is to remove the ticks from your body or fur friends and drop them off into a glass of boiling water. It may kill the ticks instantly.

Does Bleach Kill Ticks?

Definitely Yes; bleach can be effective at killing ticks. However, it is important to use it correctly. If you apply bleach directly to your skin, it can cause serious irritation. Likewise, pouring undiluted bleach onto a tick may cause the tick to regurgitate its stomach contents into your skin, raising the possibility of an infection. The best way is to place the tick inside the bleach container.

Another way to use bleach to kill ticks is to mix it with water and pour it into a spray bottle. Then, you can spritz it onto your clothes or gear after you’ve been in an area with ticks. The bleach will kill any ticks clinging to your clothing, but it won’t harm your skin. Use this technique with caution as there is a chance of staining your clothes and skin irritation if sprayed on exposed skin.

Do Ticks Come Off In Water?

Some people believe ticks will come off if submerged in water. However, this is not the case. Due to their special respiratory mechanisms, submerging the tick in water will not remove it; the water can cause the tick to release its grip and remain attached to the skin. It increases the risk of disease transmission, so it is best to avoid this method of tick removal.

Does Showering Get Rid Of Ticks?

Yes and No. You can remove unattached ticks with soap and water. However, you should be aware that showering will not prevent ticks from attaching to your body in the first place. Ticks are most likely to attach to warm and moist skin areas, such as the armpits and groin. They can also crawl into hair follicles, which makes it difficult to spot them before they attach. That’s why it’s important to perform a full-body check after spending time outside in areas where ticks are common.

Does Flushing A Tick Kill It?

Flushing a tick down the toilet may not always be an effective way to kill it. While flushing may cause the tick to drown, it is also possible for the tick to survive and crawl back out of the toilet. In addition, flushing can also spread disease if the tick is carrying a pathogen.

For these reasons, it is typically recommended to dispose of the removed ticks properly to prevent them from crawling back out or spreading disease.

How To Prevent Ticks on Humans Naturally? 

Use these general natural ways to keep these parasites away without harsh chemicals.

  • Use cedar oil: a non-toxic way to avoid ticks and other insects. Spray this oil directly on clothes and skin. We can use this idea in both humans and pets. Cedar oil repels, irritates, and kills ticks.
  • Use homemade repellents by mixing the citronella essential oil, tea tree essential oil, peppermint essential oils, almond oil, or jojoba oil in appropriate proportion.
  • Use a mixture of eucalyptus oil, an effective tick repellent, and killer, with distilled water as a tick repellent. We can spray this mixture on skin, pant cuffs, and shoes. This method is safe for dogs too. 
  • We can use neem oil as a natural remedy to repel and remove ticks. We can also use this neem oil by mixing and diluting it with almond or other light carrier oil. It is safe to apply diluted neem oil to dogs. Apply a few drops of neem oil directly to the tick to remove it from our body.
  • Apple cider vinegar is another natural remedy to repel ticks. We can spray this on clothing and exposed skin, even lawn furniture. A combined solution of water, apple cider vinegar, and organic neem oil can also work as a tick repellent.  
  • Aromatherapy essential oils smell great, but the ticks hate the smell of lemon, orange, cinnamon, lavender, peppermint, and rose geranium. So they avoid latching on to the person who carries this smell. We can use any one of these oils with almond oil to rub on the exposed skin to repel ticks.
  • Regular eating of garlic or garlic capsules reduces the chances of tick bites in humans. This daily usage helps the body to excrete a scent that ticks hate.


Ticks can survive in water for some time. After using a swimming pool, check the entire body and hairlines for ticks. Water can wash off the ticks as long as they have not started to burrow. However, avoiding ticks is the best option to stay away from many deadly diseases. Use natural remedies and take preventive methods to save yourselves and your pets from these dangerous parasites. 


Can a tick survive a washing machine?

As it turns out, washing your clothes in a washing machine is enough to kill most ticks. The washing cycle’s high temperatures and powerful agitation are more than enough to kill most insects, including ticks. However, there are significant flaws to this method. While the washing machine’s spin cycle may dislodge the tick, the high temperatures and detergents are not enough to kill it. As a result, it’s important to take extra care when removing ticks, as even a short spin in the washing machine won’t be enough to get rid of them.

Can ticks swim back up the toilet?

While ticks can survive for a short time in the water, they cannot swim and sink to the bottom. However, they are good climbers and can climb up the sides of a toilet bowl if not flushed properly.

Will ticks die in the dryer?

Placing the clothes in the dryer and running it on high for 30 minutes may effectively kill the ticks on clothing. Once the dryer is done, you can wash the clothes in hot water and place them in the dryer at high temperatures. To effectively kill ticks, the temperature must be greater than 54 °C (greater than 130 °F).