We have addressed how to deal with ticks and fleas , and what products to use to get rid of them. But it is also important to know about these bugs that plague your pet. Check out these tick facts before you get out the tweezers.
- There are hundreds of tick species –over 850 kinds!
- Ticks are more often found on dogs rather than on cats. (Which is great news for cat-lovers!)
- Ticks are not naturally disease-carriers. They are born healthy, but pick up toxins and bacteria by feeding on other animals. (The brown dog tick and the American dog tick both have the highest likelihood of carrying diseases.)
- Ticks can carry diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichia, and Lyme’s disease (which may take months to properly diagnose in a victim.)
- A human or an animal can unfortunately get more than one disease from a solitary tick bite.
- Ticks are stealthy biters: there are minor anti-inflammatory compounds that function as anesthetics in a hard tick’s saliva, meaning most people do not feel when one of the bugs has bitten them!
- Ticks are good at camouflage because of their small size and bland coloring. They typically appear as a dark spec on the pet’s scalp.
- Ticks are from the arachnid family, meaning they are more like scorpions or house spiders than flying, or buzzing insects.
- Their lives consist of 4 stages: beginning as an egg, growing into a larva, then nymph (adolescent) and adult. Once ticks have mated, the male immediately dies.
- Ticks do not just target mammals like humans and small animals, they also can latch on to birds and reptiles, so if you have other pets –watch out!
Keeping You and Your Pet Tick-Free
It can be tough to avoid contact with topical parasites when you are an adventurous outdoors-y person. The long grasses, low tree boughs all could be potential tick encounters, and every region in the United States has a plethora of tick species lurking around waiting to hop on a new host. Do your homework! Find out about the ticks in your area, what kinds of clothes to wear on hikes, how to protect your pet from tick bites, how to check for ticks, and what to do if you suspect an infection. The more information you have about how to avoid, find and eliminate ticks the better off you and your pet will be!
Should the worst happen, and you find a tick imbedded in the skin of your dog or cat, here are the easy steps you can to remove a tick safely.