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Pets and Animals

5 FACTS ABOUT TICKS!

Because they are now very present in the United States, we are talking more and more about ticks, but also about Lyme disease that some can transmit. And since they can have an impact on our health and that of our companions, it is very important to be concerned about them. To clear up some questions, here are 5 important facts to know about ticks!

1. What is a tick?

The tick is a mite of the class Arachnids, and like spiders, it has four pairs of legs. The tick has an oval body whose shape is reminiscent of a melon seed, and whose skin looks like leather. Its body is divided into two parts: a small head and a larger abdomen. The latter swells when the tick takes a blood meal on an animal. Sometimes a tick clinging to its prey is mistaken for a wart, but if you look closely at its base, you can see its little legs moving under its abdomen.

2. Are all ticks the same?

In the United States, there are about forty species of ticks including the western blacklegged tick, American star tick, American dog tick, Anderson’s tick, etc. In the United States, twelve species of ticks that can bite humans and animals have been identified. These ticks are not all dangerous, but some can transmit various diseases to humans and animals when they bite to take their blood meal, being able to remain well attached to the skin for 4 to 5 days!

Currently, the most common tick is the deer tick, also known as the blacklegged tick or Ixodes scapularis. In the United States, only 15% of black-legged embedded fully ticks on dogs carry the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease, but according to observations, this percentage is increasing sharply among our neighbors to the south.

3. Where do ticks live?

Some ticks prefer to live in tall grass and brush, while others live in wooded areas. The blacklegged tick is found more frequently in areas with high humidity and more abundant vegetation, normally composed of trees with broad leaves. Areas without plant cover and rather open, grassy ground for example, are less likely to harbor ticks. To avoid a bite in the forest, it is recommended to stay on the beaten path and wear long clothing. At home, it is enough to maintain your lawn regularly to prevent them from settling there.

4. How does the tick end up on us or our animals?

The hungry tick climbs on a tall grass or leaf and waits for an animal or a human to pass nearby. When she has her chance, she clings to animal hair or human clothing. Once attached to its prey, it can spend several hours on its host before fixing its mouthpart in the skin and beginning its blood meal. Most of the time, a tick bite is painless and goes unnoticed. Removing the tick within the first 24 hours of its bite reduces the risk of contracting Lyme disease. Therefore, it is recommended to brush your animal when it returns from outside to then check for the presence of ticks, and thus be able to remove them quickly with the help of tick remover for cats.

5. How do I adequately protect my dog ​​from ticks?

In addition to checking your dog’s coat well and combing it after each outing in a risk area. It is a good idea to use the appropriate preventive treatment. There are different antiparasitic treatments to fight against ticks. To prevent the transmission of diseases like Lyme disease. These medications repel the tick and poison it when it bites your dog. She dies within 24 hours of being bitten and falls off on her own.

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