Ticks, and the diseases they transmit, affect both humans and pets. It is important that you are knowledgeable about how these dangerous arachnids spread, as well as how to prevent and treat the diseases and complications associated with them. The following pages will give you all the information and tips you need to know so that you are prepared for the upcoming tick season.
Ticks pose a vital problem for pet owners particularly in April, May and June, which is standard tick season for most locations. Different varieties or ticks affect different areas, and they are also affect many different hosts (ranging from mice to deer to dogs to humans). Deer Ticks (Blacklegged Ticks) carry a variety of diseases, ranging from the well known Lyme Disease to the lesser known, but equally as serious, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. The best way to fend off these dangerous disease for your pets is to take preventative measures around your home and before venturing out into a wooded or grassy area with your pet. Lastly, it is very important to check your pet thoroughly after they have been outside during tick season. If you promptly check your dog after a walk, you are more likely to be able to prevent a tick, before it has a chance to attach to the animal (it takes approximately four hours for a tick to fully attach to an animal).
American Dog Tick(aka Wood Tick): Larvae and nymphs feed on small warm-blooded animals such as mice and birds. Also feed on humans and large animals (raccoons and dogs). Active in April, May and June. Reddish-brown and about 3/16inch long. Females large silver-colored spot behind the head and will become ½ inch long after feeding.
Lone Star Tick: Found in warmer climates. Will feed on both humans and pets. Larva are tiny. Adult ⅛ inch long and brown. Most active from April to July. Believed to transmit Lyme disease (bacteria).
Blacklegged Tick (aka Deer Tick): All three stages of the deer tick will feed on a variety of hosts. Tiny larvae feed on white-footed mice and other animals. The 2nd stage (pinhead-sized, brown nymph), which develop in the spring, feed on mice, larger warm-blooded animals and people. Ticks are found in wooded areas along trails. Larvae and nymphs are active in the spring and early summer; adults are active both in the spring and fall.
Brown dog tick (aka Kennel Tick): found throughout the US. Feeds on dogs. Found primarily in kennels and homes with dogs where it may be found hiding in cracks, behind radiators, under rugs and furniture, and on draperies and walls. Adults are reddish-brown and ⅛ inch, Attaches onto the ears or between the toes of a dog to feed. After feeding, a female may grow to ½ inch long. Tropical.
Winter Tick: Feeds on large animals like deer, cattle and horses. Attaches to host as a larva and remains attached throughout its life. Found in large number on deer carcasses.
Western Black Legged Tick: Found in California and western Canada. Transmits Lyme disease and anaplasmosis. Infect people and pets.
Golf Coast Tick: In Gulf Cost, Virgina, Oklahoma, Kansas. East United States with larger populations in middle-southern region. Transmits canine hepatozoonosis.