Life stages of a tick.
Ticks have four life stages egg, larvae, nymph and adult, all of their active life stages require blood. Some ticks can take up to 3 years to complete a full life cycle as often ticks become dormant during the winter. Ticks may require many hosts or use the same species. Ticks can and will feed off mammals, reptiles, birds, and amphibians. They find their hosts multiple ways through vibrations, body heat, and breath, etc. They will position themselves on a branch or tall blade of grass with their legs out stretched waiting for an animal to come by and attach themselves, this action is called questing
Transmission- not every tick is infected!
Ticks can take 10 minutes – 2 hours to begin the feeding process, ticks can transmit disease through feeding. Ticks begin the feeding process by cutting a hole into the dermal layer. They will then create a cement like substance that keeps them in places throughout the feeding process. They will inject their saliva into the body to reduce pain with its anesthetic effects and prevent animals from knowing they are there. If the tick has already fed on an infected host and their saliva enters the blood stream, the new host may become infected. Sometimes their saliva can cause a reaction a the site of their attachment, if this reaction is larger than a silver dollar size there is a chance of another issue and contact your veterinarian. Studies have shown that infected ticks may take up to 24-72 hours to transmit Lyme disease.
What are some other diseases ticks can transmit?
Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Cytauxzoonosis, Erlichiosis, Hemabartonella, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tick Paralysis etc. most of these diseases can be contracted by humans as well, causing a health risk to the whole family. There is a silver lining tick transmitted diseases are not as common in Florida but still possible.
How can we prevent ticks?
Simparica is one of newest and most effective tick preventions for pets, it begins killing tick in up to 8 hrs. some clinical studies have shown it has been effective in preventing the transmission of Lyme disease. This product is oral meaning water and bathing cannot wash it off, and it lasts for a full 35 days without loss of efficacy. Simparica also prevents fleas, and with Zoetis’ Satisfaction guarantee this product is one of our top selling flea and tick preventions. There are even 15 and 35 dollar mail in rebates for purchasing 6-12 doses at a time.