Some basic facts on ticks
With the approaching of spring all sorts of small creatures wake up. If you have a pet then you are more likely to get in contact with these creatures. Alongside with fleas, ticks are the most common parasites you can find on your pets.
Ticks are in fact small arachnids (like spiders) and are external parasites. They can carry various diseases, some even deadly.
The tick season is usually in summer but it can start in spring with a sudden rise in temperature. Ticks are usually are more active outdoors than indoors and they can be commonly found in woods and forests, especially around deer trails and water.
Meadows are a preferred location for ticks as well. They like tall grass where they wait for a host to pass so they can attach themselves. Since ticks feed themselves on the blood of others their preferred hosts are mammals, birds and occasionally reptiles and amphibians.
Most commonly ticks attach themselves to the host by physical contact using their mandibles and their feeding tubes but they can jump or fly on the host as well.
Ticks can cause various diseases like: Lyme disease, Q fever, Colorado tick fever, Tick-borne meningoencephalitis, Tick-borne relapsing fever, Canine jauntice and Tularemia.
In this regard we must mention seed ticks. Seed ticks are the six-legged stage of newborn ticks and they can be very dangerous for your pets. There are cases of attacks of 30,000 seed ticks at time on pets. These attacks can cause severe anemia, paralysis and even death. Elderly dogs, puppies and cats are especially at high risk.
There are several tick types like the Blacklegged or Deer tick, the American dog tick, the Western black-legged tick, The Paralysis tick and the Lone Star tick. The Deer tick is quite common in areas where the density of deer population is high. That’s why Lyme disease is more common in those geographical areas where there is a bigger concentration of deers and deer ticks. The American dog tick is very common in North American and can carry the Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The Western black-legged tick can be found in the western part of North America and can carry Lyme disease and the Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
There are very efficient tick repellents that are safe for your pets. Read here about Frontline plus that kills 4 major tick types.