Dr. Mickelson, DVM
Flea and Tick Prevention - Sale going on Now!
Do you have fleas? Topical Bravecto for cats last the entire life cycle of fleas and kills ticks! If your pet is current with a wellness exam you can stop by and pick up a dose today! We also are offering 10% off all of our flea/tick products now through February.
Where do fleas and ticks live?
You may not see them, but they're there.
Fleas and ticks can be nestled in hiding places inside and out without you ever knowing it. See below for some of their more common hideouts:
On other pets and animals
Around shrubbery and bushes in your backyard where other infested animals frequent
In addition, developing stages of fleas may be lurking out of sight:
In carpets, floors and sofas of your home
That's why you need flea and tick preventatives that can attack fleas and ticks on your pet. Anything less just won't do.
How ticks find their hosts
Ticks find their hosts by detecting animals´ breath and body odors, or by sensing body heat, moisture, and vibrations. Some species can even recognize a shadow. In addition, ticks pick a place to wait by identifying well-used paths. Then they wait for a host, resting on the tips of grasses and shrubs. Ticks can't fly or jump, but many tick species wait in a position known as "questing".
While questing, ticks hold onto leaves and grass by their third and fourth pair of legs. They hold the first pair of legs outstretched, waiting to climb on to the host. When a host brushes the spot where a tick is waiting, it quickly climbs aboard. Some ticks will attach quickly and others will wander, looking for places like the ear, or other areas where the skin is thinner.
How ticks spread disease
Ticks transmit pathogens that cause disease through the process of feeding.
Depending on the tick species and its stage of life, preparing to feed can take from 10 minutes to 2 hours. When the tick finds a feeding spot, it grasps the skin and cuts into the surface.
The tick then inserts its feeding tube. Many species also secrete a cement-like substance that keeps them firmly attached during the meal. The feeding tube can have barbs which help keep the tick in place.
Ticks also can secrete small amounts of saliva with anesthetic properties so that the animal or person can't feel that the tick has attached itself. If the tick is in a sheltered spot, it can go unnoticed.
A tick will suck the blood slowly for several days. If the host animal has a bloodborne infection, the tick will ingest the pathogens with the blood.
Small amounts of saliva from the tick may also enter the skin of the host animal during the feeding process. If the tick contains a pathogen, the organism may be transmitted to the host animal in this way.
After feeding, most ticks will drop off and prepare for the next life stage. At its next feeding, it can then transmit an acquired disease to the new host.