Ticks – How to Identify and Interesting Facts
Ticks are an absolute nightmare to deal with especially as pet owners. Most of you will probably know that ticks are vectors of various disease with Lyme Disease being one of the most infamous ones. Here are some additional little-known facts about ticks that you may find interesting.
Interesting Facts About Ticks
1. Ticks Aren’t Actually Insects
Ticks are actually part of the arachnid family so they are closer to spiders and mites as opposed to insects like ants and fleas. The insect and arachnids aren’t that close too. It’s as different as comparing a fish from a bird for example. There are some differences in physical appearance which helps you understand what an arachnid is. For example, ticks and spiders have eight legs while insects normally have six.
2. Ticks Are Like Daredevils
Ticks don’t have the luxury to fly or jump like fleas for example so they have to resort to other methods in order to latch themselves onto a host. They could, for example, crawl onto grass and wait until their next target passes by. In other cases, they might even drop from their perch and land on a passing host.
3. Ticks Love Dogs
Some species of ticks love to get their blood meals from dogs. These species include the American dog tick and the brown dog tick. Unfortunately, dogs make an easy target for these ticks. There aren’t many other domesticated animals that love to jump and roll around in the grass as much as dogs do.
4. It’s Important to Eliminate Ticks Fast
Ticks are in it for the long-haul when it comes to their feeding habits. There is a good reason why you need to get rid of the ticks quickly as soon as they are identified. It typically takes 36 to 48 hours for the Lyme disease bacteria to get successfully transmitted from the tick to the host.
How to Identify Ticks
Ticks aren’t always the easiest of pests to identify given their size. Here are the most common types of ticks you may come across in your area and characteristics that may help distinguish one from the other.
American Dog Tick
This species of tick is known for carrying bacteria that are responsible for a number of serious diseases so they must be treated quickly as soon as they are identified. American dog ticks can live for up to two years without a host so they are unfortunately quite resilient pests.
Blacklegged Deer Tick
The deer tick grows up to a size of a sesame seed. They became infamous in the mid 1970s when they were discovered to be one of the primary transmitters of Lyme disease. They are usually smaller in size than the dog ticks. The females have a reddish hind body with black markings while the males have a solid dark brown body.
Brown Dog Tick
The brown dog tick has a slightly narrow, reddish brown body. They are known for transmitting infections like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. After a proper blood meal, an adult brown dog tick may grow up to 12 mm in size.