The brown dog tick is part of a group classified as arthropods, which are invertebrates with an external skeleton, segmented body, and joint appendages.
This type of tick is found throughout the United States and primarily feeds on dogs while the deer one, also known as the black-legged tick, is usually found along trails and feeds on both humans and animals. In animals, they cause anemia, paralysis, and transmit other diseases.
Ticks don’t like to crawl far, jump or fly, they’re like hobos. They are transported from one area to another by hitching a ride on passing pets or people.
Tick infestations start when they are brought into a yard or home by rats, mice, squirrels, opossums or raccoons. Sometimes the infestation source is the farm or the pet hotel. You can even pick them up while walking the dog in your neighborhood.
It only takes one tick to start an infestation as each female can lay 2000 to 3000 thousand eggs at a time.
An infestation can seem to appear overnight but in reality, it probably has been building for weeks. When the tick eggs hatch the nymphs are about the size of a pencil dot. They may look like dirt and even when they are fully grown they are hard to see.
When a tick feeds it uses cutting teeth to break the skin and then it inserts a suction tube into the wound. Once the skin is pierced the tick spits it’s saliva into the wound which contains a numbing agent and an anticoagulant.
The numbing agent masks the bite and the anticoagulant thins the blood to makes it easier for the tick to drink. The diseases they transmit to us are carried in the saliva.
They have the ability to transmit infections such as Lyme disease. Lyme disease is an inflammatory disease that affects humans and animals and causes rashes, anemia, swelling, fever, headaches, and fatigue.
Typically, ticks are found in grassy areas or shrubs where they attach to the skin of a host, usually either humans or animals and feed off the blood for nourishment. At times, they may appear inside homes by crawling through cracks and crevices.
If bitten by a tick, it is important to clean the area and apply antibiotic cream to reduce symptoms. If severe reactions occur, consult a doctor for further treatment options.
The transmission of infection to the host is the result of the transfer of toxins from the tick’s saliva into the host. Ticks can multiply in number quickly and an infestation can occur with few visible signs, which makes it increasingly difficult to get rid of ticks.
Tick control is important for preventing an infestation in the home. The best way to prevent ticks from attaching to the skin and entering the house is to wear long sleeves while walking along with wooded or grassy areas and applying insect repellent.
Caulking any cracks around the house, installing screens outside windows, mowing the lawn frequently, cleaning cluttered areas around the home, and getting rid of excess wood are all helpful methods for tick control.
Learning how to kill ticks is also important. Do-it-yourself methods are effective in removing and killing ticks. Tweezers or forceps are useful tools to pull ticks away from the skin. Once the tick is removed, rinse it down the sink or flush it down the toilet.
Outside the home, chemical treatments are effective in getting rid of ticks. When getting rid of ticks becomes difficult or infestation occurs, contact a professional exterminator to apply professional treatment and eliminate ticks completely.
Ticks are a nasty little pest that attaches themselves to people while feeding. Ticks feed on the blood of other animals, including humans.
This feeding on the blood is what is known as hematophagy. Once the tick has attached itself to the skin, it becomes troublesome to remove. The best way to remove a tick from the skin is to use something mechanical like tweezers.
While most ticks do not carry disease and their bites do not cause harm, some definitely harbor a host of detrimental pathogens. Ticks are notorious for being vectors of a wide range of diseases. Many of the diseases ticks can carry are named after ticks and some can be very harmful to humans.
One of the major diseases associated with ticks is Lyme Disease. Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness in the northern hemisphere. The main symptom of early infection of Lyme disease is a rash that looks like a bulls-eye.
Lyme disease can range from very serious to very treatable. If detected early on, there is a high chance that this disease can be cured without lasting effects. A late diagnosis though can result in much more serious issues.
Lyme disease in serious cases can range from joint and muscle pain all the way to paralysis in extreme cases. A problem with more advanced stages of Lyme disease is that it has very similar symptoms as other diseases.
Many times, it is misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, Crohn’s disease or other autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases.
There are also hosts of fevers that can result from a tick bite. There is the Colorado Tick Fever that is characterized by fever, chills, headaches, skeletal and muscular pain, and even depression. This fever can range in severity depending on the person’s age and health overall. While many of the cases are not life-threatening, some can result in serious central nervous system issues resulting in coma or death.
Another fever that is the result of a tick bite is the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. This fever is characterized by a red spotted rash on the skin.
This is the most widely reported and the most lethal rickettsia (a specific type of bacteria) disease in the United States. While the fever’s name may suggest that, it is only found in the Rocky Mountain region, this is not the case and there have been incidents all around the country. There have even been cases as far north as Canada and as far south as parts of South America.
The tick can also cause something called Tick Paralysis that is a result of tick’s salivary gland secreting a neurotoxin into the carrier. This is a result of the prolonged attachment to the tick.
Removal of the tick usually alleviates the paralysis within a few days.
While tick-borne diseases may not be extremely common, it is important to be aware of this insect due to the host of diseases they may carry.
Whenever adventuring out in the woods, take the proper precautions like wearing long pants and tucking them into your shoes. In addition, wearing light-colored clothing can help to spot ticks before they are able to bite.
Dog ticks are parasites that feed on dogs and are normally found in the woods, bushes or tall grass.
As such, they usually attach themselves to the dogs when they walk in such an environment. Most pet owners dread the prospect of dog ticks on their pets, and for good reason.
Dog ticks not only make a dog’s life miserable, but they also transmit various diseases which can lead to death. It is therefore important for pet owners to know how to protect their dogs and home from tick infestation.
Although not all dog ticks transmit diseases, the threat of this danger is always real where ticks are concerned. In most cases, tick-borne diseases are not immediately transmitted to the dogs.
This means that if the ticks can be located and removed as soon as possible, the better.
Some of the most common tick-borne diseases are:
- Lyme Disease
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
Lyme disease is characterized by lameness, fever, loss of appetite and body pains. The symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever are vomiting, and fever.
These conditions are curable but if not treated in time, they can cause death. In order to ensure the dog’s safety, one should be on the lookout for any changes in the dog after a tick infestation.
Given the seriousness of diseases associated with dog ticks, pet owners should try to keep their dogs free of ticks. One of the ways in which pet owners can protect their dogs from ticks is by applying a tick repellant on them.
Tick repellants are available in the market or from your local vet. The downside of using such repellants is that some dogs have allergic reactions to the chemicals in them. You should always watch your dog closely after the first treatment.
If a pet owner does not use a tick repellant, it is advisable to check the dog for ticks on a regular basis.
This is particularly important if the dog spends most of its time outdoors, or if one lives in an area infested with ticks. Dog ticks usually attach themselves in areas with little or no hair as well as in the body’s crevices.
If the dog has ticks, one can either use tick control dips or powders to kill them. One can also remove the ticks manually by using tweezers to grasp them. It’s a good idea to use a cotton swab to smother the tick with fingernail polish before removal.
You should wear gloves as a precautionary measure since one cannot always tell which ticks can transmit diseases to humans.
As much as possible, the tick’s head should not remain in the dog’s skin, since it can cause inflammation or secondary infection. Once removed from the dog, the ticks are best disposed of by throwing them into a fire or toilet.
It is advisable to apply an antiseptic to the tick bite in order to prevent infection. Protecting one’s pet from dog ticks can save both the pet owner and the dog a lot of trouble in the future.
To know how to get rid of fleas in your house can be a very hard and frustrating job.
Not only will it take time and a lot of patience, still, but you also will never be able to get rid of all the insects at one go. It is a job that you persistently have to keep at; there is no way of getting by it.
In the case of flea emergencies, you have to follow certain simple steps that help you to build up a good strategy.
Knowing how to get rid of fleas in your house with chemical sprays and other products can be easy, yet these methods are very harmful to humans as well. It is better that you opt for some safe, natural methods:
- Since your pet is probably the carrier of these critters, you will have to wash them properly first. Give them a good bath in hot water so that the fleas do not survive.
- Treat your house with effective techniques to clean up the infestation. But first make sure that you remove all the toys and clothing from under the bed, and your closets as well.
- Afterward, vacuum your house thoroughly and properly. Make sure you use a vacuum machine with powerful suction. That will suck up all the larvae and flea eggs from the carpet. Vacuum other areas like rugs, cushions, beds and other furniture. After vacuuming, you must throw away the vacuum bag so that the fleas do not creep back to your house.
- Then apply pesticide to all the areas that you have vacuumed to doubly ensure that no flea is left behind. While the pesticide is drying, make sure that kids and pets stay away so that they do not come in contact with the chemicals.
- You can leave the doors and windows open, and switch on the fan or the air conditioner so that the odor fades out, and the pesticide dries up quickly.
- If there is someone in your house with a respiration problem, you must consult a doctor before applying a pesticide.
- Since fleas become a very menacing problem during the summer and fall, you must start dealing with flea prevention tactics in late spring.
- Adult fleas are easy to get rid of. But knowing how to get rid of fleas in their larvae form is quite a challenge.
- Use exterior flea-controlling methods as well, to ensure that the areas around your house are safe.
- Before using any toxic pest control method, you have to read the label first so as to know how to use it without danger.
- Do not think that if you shut up all the fleas inside a room and stay away, the fleas will die without a host. That is hardly effective, and you will not be saved.
Flea bites on humans constitute a problem which many people tend to ignore either out of embarrassment or due to the belief that they are not a serious condition.
But, these little insects carry a lot of diseases, and through their bite, the viruses can get into your bloodstream and cause an infection.
Most often, flea bites on humans appear under the form of itchy spots that form over the surface of the body, predominantly in the area of the legs.
If you notice such spots and think you may have been bitten by fleas, do not rush into thinking that this is a cause of embarrassment, since fleas are attracted to unclean environments. Actually, most often, fleas are transmitted to humans by their pets.
If you notice that your dog has lost its appetite and seems to feel lethargic, the chances are it is also infested with dog worms, internal parasites that affect our pets. Is your dog constantly scratching its ears? Ear mites in dogs are also a rather common problem. This infection can cause serious damage to your dog’s inner ear.
Dogs do have the instinct to fight against parasites, but their natural methods are usually inefficient. In fact, as the dog scratches, external parasites may fall off its fur, and unto your carpet. Once you have fleas in house, it is only a question of time until you will start noticing flea bites on humans as well.
The best thing you can do is get a professional treatment for your dog. Also, calling a pest control company for flea removal and elimination of dog fleas in your home is a great idea.
Ask your veterinarian which one is the most suitable for your dog, according to its breed, weight, and age. Once your dog is treated, those annoying flea bites on humans will also disappear.
As for the internal parasites, one of the most efficient treatments available is usually prescribed by the vet. Any treatment for your dog has to work — as this is one of the basic steps in preventing illness caused by worms and fleas that took refuge in your pet.
If you fear that your budget may not permit you such a complex treatment, take into consideration the fact that there are a lot of pet meds for less money you can choose from. Pet medication discounts are easy to find, just ask your veterinarian or browse the Internet for some great offers.
Another method to fight against parasites is prevention. Buy a series of dog grooming supplies, such as brushes, clippers, and shampoos and make sure that you keep your dog clean, and, consequently your home’s environment more hygienic. Brush the fur of your dog on a daily basis and wash it as often as it is recommended. You will notice that with such a routine, flea bites on humans or even on dogs will no longer be a problem.
To guarantee your home free from fleas, contact your pest control company for flea removal.
Fleas are dogs’ greatest enemies. They suck the nutrition out of dogs and they also cause a lot of problems on your pet’s skin.
But, there are ways for you to prevent the occurrence of flea infestation, and cure it if it is already present. First, let’s discuss what fleas can actually bring to your dog’s health.
When a flea bites a dog, his skin will have an allergic reaction to the flea’s saliva and the dog will chew, scratch, and gnaw on it incessantly.
Flea bites are a major problem in many areas of the world. Your dog can be infested with fleas and they can infest your home and even bite you if the problem is left untreated.
Some dogs are actually allergic to the flea bite, so this can cause them extreme misery such as scratching till they bleed, skin inflammation, and hair loss, which is often referred to as hot spots.
1. Get the Flea Problem Under Control
Before you can treat a flea bite, you must get the flea problem under control. Otherwise, you will have hundreds of flea bites to treat.
You will want to treat your house and your dog with safe flea killing products. If you are unsure which ones to use, ask your veterinarian and they can recommend the right kind or sell you a flea treatment you place on the dog’s shoulder blades one each week.
2. Bathe The Dog in Soothing Shampoo
Once you have treated the flea problem and you visibly are seeing the fleas falling off the dog or no longer crawling, you need to shampoo your dog with an oatmeal-based product.
Do not use a flea shampoo as this can really sting if the flea bites have caused sores on your dog’s body.
If your dog is really infested with fleas, like your shampoo him or her, you may notice the shampoo turning red, this is the leftover blood that dried when the fleas bit your dog. You may need to shampoo a couple of times, depending on the severity.
Use an oatmeal-based conditioner as well, this is very soothing to the dog’s skin, especially when they have open wounds from scratching themselves.
Allow your dog to dry thoroughly and vacuum your home very well, if you have no carpet, sweep your hardwoods very well, because once you treat the home and the dog, you’re going to have a lot of dead fleas, depending on how bad the infestations were.
In Case Of Inflammation and Redness
If your dog’s skin is red and inflamed, you can see where they scratched themselves raw. Go to your local pharmacy and get an over the counter hydrocortisone cream that normally sells with 1 percent.
You will want to apply this to the affected areas several times each day. This will not burn at all and will actually be very soothing.
Many people commonly confuse flea bites and bed bug bites, and with a lot of people not knowing the difference between fleas and bed bugs themselves, it’s easy to see why.
You’ve probably been bitten by something you weren’t sure of before, and you may be even reading this blog entry because you’re trying to identify a bite – well, we’re happy to tell you all about it.
First, let’s discuss a few key differences between the two.
WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?
- Fleas are very small, ranging between 0.05 to 0.13 inches or 1.5mm to 3.5mm in size.
- They’re reddish-brown in color, and have vertically flattened bodies.
- Looking at a flea from right above it would show you how narrow and slender they are. This helps them maneuver between their host’s (our pet’s) hair or fur. Looking at them from the side, they would appear to have oval-shaped bodies.
- They have 6 legs, with the last rear pair of legs much longer than the others. When jumping, they’re capable of a height of up to 7 inches vertically, and 13 inches horizontally.
- They have antennae slightly behind their eyes, but these cannot be seen without magnification.
- Bed bugs are also very small, at 0.09 to 0.18 inches or 2.5mm to 4.5mm in size.
- They have brownish in color that appear to be reddish and inflated after feeding.
- Looking at a bed bug from right above it would show you they have oval-shaped bodies. Looking at them from the side, they would appear to have flat bodies (that are inflated after feeding).
- They have 6 legs, with no significant difference in length between all pairs of legs.
- They have 2 antennae.
HOW CAN I TELL IF IT’S A FLEA BITE OR A BED BUG BITE?
- Flea bites may look like small clusters of red spots
- People typically get bitten by fleas from their pests, and flea bites generally occur in the feet and lower legs. However, they may also bite you in the other areas of your body, especially in folds of skin such as armpits
- They may be immediately itchy
- These bites may be small red spots that are firm and have a slight swelling around them
- Bed bugs typically come out to feed on you while you sleep during the night, and these bites may appear in the exposed areas of your skin such as legs, arms, and neck. However, they can bite you in other areas too such as your chest and back.
- Bed bug bites may not feel immediately itchy, because they actually inject saliva that contain anticoagulants and anesthetic – this is so their hosts continue sleeping while bed bugs feed on them for a few minutes.
WHAT DO I DO ABOUT THESE BITES?
Wash the bite area with soap and water. If it itches, apply a topical anti-itch cream. Note that hot water may worsen itching, so avoid hot showers or baths until the bites clear. If the bites don’t clear up on their own after a few weeks, get in touch with a medical professional.
If you suspect an allergic reaction, take an antihistamine. Seek medical attention right away for more severe reactions such as a severe rash, blisters, nausea, fever, difficulty breathing, a swollen tongue, or an irregular heartbeat.
If you have a bed bugs, fleas, or other pest infestations, get in touch with a professional pest control service right away.
Our pets are an important part of our family. We shelter them, feed them, bathe them, and play with them. For many people, they’re as much part of the family as a sibling or a parent. But unlike our human loved ones, our pets can’t really communicate what it is that bothers them. If they could, I’m sure there would be a lot! Pet food lacking in flavor and you refusing to wake up when they want you to seem pretty given, but what about other concerns that may be more dangerous? Like pests that feed on your pets and make them itchy, irritable, and even ill? Let’s look at some of the common pests that may be plaguing our pets.
Fleas are definitely one of the most common pests that hound our furry friends. While fleas can feast on almost all domesticated mammals on the planet, cat and dog fleas love our cats and dogs the most. And by love, I mean love to feast on them. These cat and dog fleas aren’t specific to cats and dogs only though – if you have other pets like rabbits and hamsters, they’re okay with having them on the menu too.
Unlike ticks, fleas easily jump from one host to the next like transient travelers. Your pet can get them just by being near another animal that has fleas, or even stumble unto a flea that’s been lying in wait (they can survive for a few days without a host). They can cause itching, scratching, scabbing, anemia, restlessness, and skin infections.
If you discover fleas on your pets, take action right away. Your veterinarian may prescribe pills as a treatment for your pets, or you can give them a bath using medicated shampoo that kills these pesky parasites. There are also topical treatments available that come in the form of sprays, powders, and even ointment, though these target specific areas so you may be better off with the first two options for a general flea problem.
Ticks are quite similar to fleas and also feed on host blood, but they’re more dangerous in that they carry a lot more bacteria and diseases. Unlike fleas though, they tend to stay on one host for the duration of their lives unless that host expires before they do. They don’t fly or jump, but will lie in wait for another host. This is called “questing”, and ticks will hold on to leaves and grass with arms outstretched to catch the next ride that’s unfortunate enough to graze where they lie.
Some diseases transmitted by ticks are Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF), tick paralysis, canine hepatozoonosis, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and ehrlichiosis to name a few.
If you find any ticks, you should get rid of them right away. Put on gloves and use tweezers to pry them off as close to the tick’s head as possible, pulling straight out slowly and firmly. Do not jerk or twist, you want the tick to stay in one piece. After you’ve pried it off, clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
It’s suggested that you kill the tick by drowning it with rubbing alcohol or soapy water, flushing it down the toilet, or by wrapping it tightly in tape or similar material and then throwing it out. If you’d like to have the tick tested to see what diseases it may have been carrying, keep it alive and place it in a sealed container with a blade of grass and take it for testing. Check with local government agencies, or ask your doctor where you can send it for testing.
Yes, and they’re common enough that a few health advisories have been released about them in the last several years. In fact, in 2017, two counties in northern Arizona were found to have fleas carrying the bacterium that causes the plague.
That’s right, the plague, also known as the Black Death which wiped out an estimated 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia in the 1300s. Granted, we’re several hundred years in the future and we can thank modern medicine for the number of available treatments. Without treatment, death occurs in 30% to 90% in those infected, and they typically have only 10 days left to live. With treatment though, the risk of death is much lower at around 10%.
Still, as with anything, prevention is better than cure, right? So what do these fleas look like?
Well, they’re very tiny, at only about 1/8 an inch. They’re reddish brown in color with flattened bodies. They’re wingless but can jump to incredible heights at up to 7 inches vertically, and 13 incheshorizontally – which is really impressive considering how small they are. Like the Hulk, but flea-sized.
These tiny insects survive on blood, and are commonly found pet animals like dogs and cats (female fleas consume about 15 times their body weight each day, those gluttons). They’re external parasites that try to live off of one host for their entire lifespan of around 100 days.
If you find your pet scratching one too many times, that may be a good sign that they have fleas. Try running a fine-toothed comb through their fur. You’ll want to look for small brown shapes moving around. These fleas like to congregate near ears and tails of cats and dogs. You may also spot their fecal matter, which look like tiny black specks on the skin and fur.
Killing off adult fleas is relatively easy – there are a number of products out in the market that will take care of that for you. There are collars, lotions, creams, natural sprays, natural or chemical baths. You can also go to the vet and have them get rid of the fleas in the safest possible way.
What’s actually trickier is to make sure the infestation doesn’t reoccur. The eggs that fleas lay may easily fall off of the host’s body, that means that places where your dogs or cats sleep, may be breeding grounds for flea eggs. Same goes for a number of other places where your pets like to roll around in.
You may need to thoroughly clean your home and apply necessary treatment that’s designed to kill off fleas, with a focus on your pets’ sleeping areas. That also includes pet toys and other items or materials they regularly come into contact with. If your pets regularly come in and out of the house, you may want to have your lawn or landscaping treated as well.
Fleas may be found in a number of other animals as well, so be careful when you’re out hiking and stay away from dead animals you may encounter. Fleas jump ship fairly quickly when their host has died – and that means they’ll be in the hunt for a new one.
As it gets warmer, fleas and ticks might show up. These pesky parasites can cause problems for pets and humans alike. Although they might be small, they can cause a lot of damage that can be prevented if proper steps are taken.
Even though this is the case, fleas and ticks are commonly mixed up and although they have many similarities, let’s point out some differences.
Appearance and Activity
As you may have noticed, both fleas and ticks are extremely small. While a flea may be the size of a pinhead, a tick is usually a little bigger.
Fleas love to jump around and contrary to the common notion that they can fly, fleas actually just stay on one host for their small lifespan of around 100 days. But don’t be relieved yet… During this time, the flea can have thousands of offspring which can be a headache for you to deal with.
On the other hand, ticks are actually related to spiders (arachnids) and consume blood by digging/burrowing into the skin which is also difficult to find. “Tick” is really a term for many different small arachnids who are parasites. They can live from 3 weeks to up to 3 years, moving from host to host while having offspring.
Apart from creating a small rash on your pets (or you), these creatures can carry some deadly diseases. Fleas can carry many types of bacteria, including one that transmits the plague! Ticks meanwhile carry diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which can cause neurological damage in severe cases. But don’t be too worried, if you take a few precautions, nothing bad will happen!
The best way to keep these parasites away are usually by using natural sprays that stop these bugs from showing up in the first place. Flea lotions, creams, collars, and other products are available for pets (and you when outdoors) to disinterested fleas. If you or your pet do get infected, go to a doctor for medicine. Ticks are treated the same way, but if you are bitten by a tick, use a credit card or other flat object to pull it away. Using tweezers can squeeze harmful fluids into your body. Talk to a doctor afterwards.
These pests don’t usually show up in residential areas so removal usually isn’t an issue.
Fleas and ticks are pesky parasites that cause disease and discomfort. Hopefully though, you can distinguish between the two and tackle any of the problems that you may face. Call Watchdog Pest Control immediately to prevent them from multiplying and further harming your family and your pets.