Fleas & Ticks
Facts About Ticks1
Ticks are small blood-sucking parasites that are related to spiders.
Anyone who spends time in the great outdoors knows about the threat of disease-carrying ticks to dogs as well as their owners. Ticks are efficient hunters, waiting ("questing") in brush or tall grass for a host to latch onto. And once attached, ticks on dogs or other mammals remain—often unnoticed—for several days, making them excellent carriers for disease. After feeding, an engorged female falls off to lay 3,000-6,000 eggs!
But ticks aren't just out in the wilderness—they can be transported much closer to home by mammals like raccoons or even squirrels. Tick larvae, nymphs or adult ticks can easily end up in residential areas, creating a whole new tick population waiting to be fed in your own garden or neighborhood park.
One tick species, called the Brown Dog Tick, is capable of living and developing inside your house, without ever leaving it.
Did you know?
- A single adult female can consume 0.6 mL of blood or more.
- Severe tick infestations can cause anemia, weight loss, paralysis and even death.
- Some ticks such as the Lone Star Tick (Ambiyomma americanum) found in parts of the United States produce a toxin that can cause paralysis.
- Ticks require an animal host to survive and reproduce. Ticks feed on mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.
- Ticks, and the disease organisms they carry, including Lyme disease, are found in every state in the United States.
- Ticks often go unnoticed, and once attached on your dog, can feed for up to five days.
- Blagburn BL, Dryden MW. Biology, treatment, and control of flea and tick infestations. Vet Clin N Am Small Anim. 2009;39(6):1173-1200.