Winter has been exceptionally mild this year, hence ticks are spawning earlier than usual. Warmer weather is a respite for us and our pets, however warmer weather also helps tick eggs hatch earlier than usual. Normal tick season is from May through August, but with temperatures in the 70's and 80's in some places, the ticks may have an advantage and infest in greater numbers this year.
Eggs are already in the ground,
but this is the time that they will be coming out in great numbers,
said Pollie Rueda, an entomologist stationed at the Smithsonian and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.
The Tick Life Cycle
Ticks lay their eggs in various places, but not on the host. Usually, they are laid and hatched in the environment. Female ticks can lay up to 22,000 eggs in a single egg-laying event.
After ticks hatch, they seek a host, feed for several days, then drop off and become nymphal ticks, which repeat the same process to become adult ticks. Adults also seek a host, feed and drop off, laying their eggs in the environment to complete their life cycle.
Ticks that are already out and about are the visible adult, sesame-sized ones, noted Kristen Nordlund of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Once ticks find a host, they securely attach themselves by imbedding their mouth parts as holdfasts into the pet's skin, and begin feeding off of its blood. If a tick is carelessly pulled off, the head often remains in the skin. As the tick continues to feed, ticks become engorged with the pet's blood and their size can increase by several times.
Ticks pose a health threat to both pets and people. Ticks transmit disease-causing agents, several of which have risen to epidemic proportions. Some of the most common tick-borne diseases are Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Ehrlichiosis.
Since 1992, the cases of Lyme disease have doubled, according to the CDC, and more than 21,000 cases are reported every year.
Get to Know the Ticks
The most common ticks:
Ixodes scapularis (Deer Tick)
Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Brown Dog Tick)
Dermacentor variabilis (American Dog Tick)
Amblyomma americanum (Lone Star Tick)
(Rocky Mountain Wood Tick)
Ticks are parasitic invertebrates that infest every class of terrestrial vertebrate, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. A tick is not an insect. They are members of the class Arachnida, which includes spiders, scorpions, and mites. While there are many species of ticks throughout the world, only a few are known to cause problems to humans and pets in North America.
Ticks have a lot of advantages. They have an unusually long lifespan, which not only perpetuates the ticks, but also the pathogens they may carry, making it considerably more difficult to control these diseases. In addition, they can survive through various unfavorable conditions, and their reproductive activity is high.
Symptoms of tick-borne diseases include:
Muscle and joint pain
If untreated, these health problems can become severe and long-term treatment may become necessary.
What You Can Do
Mycodex Flea & Tick Shampoo P3
• A potent, triple strength shampoo with synergized pyrethrins to effectively control severe flea and tick infestations on dogs, and fleas on cats.
• Cleans, deodorizes and softens coat to make it more manageable.
• Concentrated formula provides more applications per bottle.
Pyrethrin Dip (118 mL)
It is a pleasant-smelling water-based Dip concentrate that kills and repels fleas, ticks, lice, gnats, mosquitoes and flies.
Ovitrol Plus Flea/Tick/Bot Spray for Dogs,Cats & Horses
Ovitrol Plus Flea/Tick/Bot Spray for Dogs,Cats & Horses quickly kills and repels mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, flies and lice.
Contains Precor Insect Growth Regulator to kill flea eggs and larvae for up to 2 months.
Can be reapplied weekly.
Siphotrol Plus II Premise Spray (16oz)
Siphotrol Plus II Premise Spray kills adult fleas, hatching flea eggs, and ticks. PRECOR, the unique ingredient in Siphotrol Plus II, provides 30 weeks' protection by preventing eggs from developing into biting fleas.
Green Pet Fleaze-Off (8 oz)
Green Pet Fleaze-Off (8 oz) uses a special blend of natural oils to create a barrier that helps protect your pets from unwelcome pests and parasites such as fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and flies. Our formula does not kill the intruders; it makes the environment inhospitable.