Ticks

Ticks

The 2 most common ticks found on your dog are the American Dog Tick (picture to the right) and the Brown Dog Tick.The American Dog Tick does NOT transmit Lyme Disease.American Dog Tick

American Dog Tick

Dogs are the preferred host of adults of this tick species, but they will feed on larger animals.

Symptoms appear 3 to 12 days after tick contact. There is a sudden onset of symptoms that include fever, headache, and aching muscles. A rash usually develops on the wrists and ankles on the second or third day of fever. The rash then spreads to involve the rest of the body, including the palms and soles. If you experience fever following tick contact, see your physician. It is important to receive the appropriate antibiotics as soon as possible if spotted fever is suspected. Most fatalities can be attributed to a delay in seeking medical attention.

It occurs throughout the easter and centeral United States. The American dog tick goes through an egg, larva, nymph, and adult stage during its development. While they may be found throughout the year, adults are most active during late April through May.

The immature stages may feed on these same hosts but prefer to infest smaller mammals such as meadow mice, squirrels, and chipmunks. All stages of the American dog tick will also feed on humans if given the opportunity.

The American dog tick does not transmit Lyme disease.

Although dog ticks do not carry Lyme disease, they are the main carrier of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the midwest states.

Control of American dog ticks in outdoor areas is extremely difficult. While several insecticides are labeled for outdoor tick control, they are usually not effective in eliminating large numbers of ticks in brushy, heavily wooded areas. There are, however, some management techniques that can discourage a buildup of ticks in these areas.

Modifying the habitat is a more permanent approach to tick management. Since ticks must be in areas of high humidity in order to survive, they are most commonly found in grassy, brushy, wooded, and shaded areas.

Therefore, reducing the humidity in these areas by keeping grass well-clipped, removing brush, and pruning trees to allow more sunlight to penetrate to the soil surface will discourage ticks from becoming established in these areas.

According to the CDC, more than 23,000 human cases of Lyme disease were recorded in 2002, with an estimated 9 out of 10 cases going unreported. Once infected with Lyme disease, a person may experience flu-like symptoms and develop a red rash in the shape of a bull’s eye. Because the symptoms of Lyme disease so closely mimic the flu, it often goes undiagnosed and can lead to more serious health problems if left untreated.

The Brown Dog Tick

This is the most widely distributed ticks in the world.

It is unusual among ticks, in that it can complete its entire life cycle indoors. Because of this, it can establish populations in colder climates, and has been found in many different climates.

What does the Brown Dog Tick look like?

It is small, red-brown in color, uniform in color. Its mouthparts are easily seen when viewed from above.

The body is flattened and shaped like a tear drop.

American Dog Tick

Habits:

Many tick species can be carried indoors on animals, but cannot complete their entire life cycle inside. Dogs are the preferred host in the US . The adults attach to the ears and between the toes, and the larvae and nymphs are often found in hair along the back, however are not restricted to these parts.

Once an infestation occurs inside a home, it can grow very rapidly. Typically, a few ticks are brought into the house or from an infested kennel, open field or other place where infested dogs have been located. After the ticks have engorged on a blood meal, they drop form the host and seek some protected situation in the immediate surroundings.

For this reason, they may be found behind baseboards, under window and door moldings, in window pulley openings, or in furniture. All cracks and crevices in an infested premise must be treated for good control. This tick cannot overwinter in the more northern United States except within a heated structure.

A home can become infest if the family dog picks up ticks from an infested residence, boarding kennel, open fields, or similar place where other infested dogs have been located.

Another infested dog may visit the residence, during which time some ticks may drop off. In this case, the home and yard may become infested even though a dog is not generally kept there. Dogs do not become infested with brown dog ticks by direct contact with other dogs.

Ticks feeding on a dog drop off and molt before they will resume host-seeking behavior and attach to another dog.

How to get rid of Brown Dog Ticks:

1. The infested house and/or kennel should be thoroughly cleaned in order to eliminate as many ticks as possible. Vacuuming is very helpful inside.
Pet beddings and pet areas should be cleaned well.

2. Kennels, dog houses, and structures occupied by pets should be thoroughly treated to control ticks that have dropped off the dog and that reside in harborage areas.
Residual insecticide sprays and dusts should be applied carefully to all potential tick harborage areas.

Ticks like to reside in the upper portions of structures in cracks and crevices and the areas used by dogs.

 

 


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