What are ticks?
Ticks are insects related to spiders. They have 8 legs and they feed off of a host animal by sucking blood. They vary in size from a tiny speck to the size of a swollen watermelon seed.
How do ticks differ from fleas?
Ticks do not cause itching or hot spots, but they do cause illness. Sometimes the illness can be serious.
Ticks crawl. Fleas jump.
Ticks remain in place while feeding
TICK DISEASES Alerts and Awareness
How long does it take the tick to transmit Lyme?
Experts disagree about how long it takes a tick to transmit Lyme disease. The CDC says that in most cases, the tick must be attached more than 24 hours.
We think that gives people a false sense of security. In some research studies, 5-7% of nymphs transmitted the Lyme bacteria in less than 24 hours. One paper reported on a case of Lyme disease transmitted after six hours of tick attachment. The risk may be low the first day, but it’s not zero.
Furthermore, some studies show that only 30% of patients with Lyme disease recall a tick bite. If people don’t even realize that they were bitten, how could they know how long the tick was attached?
The longer a tick stays on you, the more likely it will transmit disease. It’s important to find and remove any tick as soon as possible.
Which ticks should I worry about?
Nymphal ticks cause most cases of Lyme disease. Because nymphs are as small as poppy seeds and their bite is painless, people often don’t realize they have been bitten. Adult ticks can also infect humans, but are easier to spot and remove.
Not all ticks are infected. Because tick studies have only been done in a relatively few places, in most of the US, tick infection rates are unknown. Even in places where ticks generally do not carry Lyme, there may be hotspots of infection depending on local conditions. The tick infection rate may also change from year to year, even in one location.
Tick Facts Quick Facts About Ticks
1. Ticks are arachnids. Meaning, they are more closely related to spiders and scorpions than insects.
2. Ticks have four life stages: egg, larva (infant), nymph (immature), and adult (mature).
3. There about 850 tick species, some of which are capable of transmitting diseases such as Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
4. Ticks feed on the blood of their host — humans, birds, reptiles, and wild and domestic mammals.
5. Ticks may appear as a small dark speck on your pet’s fur.
6. Tick infestations are more common in dogs than cats.
7. Ticks are generally not born with disease agents. They acquire them during feeding and pass them along onto other animals during subsequent feedings.
8. Pets may contract multiple diseases from a single tick bite.
9. The brown dog tick and the American dog tick are the most common carriers of disease among dogs.
10. Never remove a tick with your bare hand. Instead, using tweezers, grasp the tick close to the skin and pull gently.
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