Ticks can transmit a variety of serious diseases and are thus dangerous to humans and pets. Our North Alabama vets explain how these external parasites thrive in this post, including warning signs to look for and how to keep ticks away from your pets and family.
What are ticks?
Ticks are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of animals and humans. They cannot fly or jump, so they must rely on hosts for transportation (usually, wild animals are responsible for bringing ticks onto your property). Pets frequently become hosts for parasites once they are on your property, and the parasites are then brought into your home.
Are ticks dangerous?
Ticks are dangerous to both humans and pets because they spread a variety of serious diseases. When a tick's saliva, which contains germs and bacteria, enters the bloodstream, it can cause serious conditions such as Lyme disease.
What do ticks look like in Leighton?
The most common tick species in Alabama is the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum. Adult females are distinguished by a white dot in the center of their brown bodies, which gives them their name. Lone star ticks are aggressive in their search for human and pet hosts and have the potential to transmit disease.
The black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis, is a common tick species too. They are also known as the deer tick, but this does not imply that it only feeds on deer. Ticks with black legs will attach to humans and pets and may transmit disease.
Rhipicephalus sanguineus, the brown dog tick, is found throughout Alabama and commonly infests homes, animal pens, and dog kennels. They are difficult to control once established and can spend their entire life cycle indoors. Brown dog ticks prefer dogs, but they will feed on humans and other mammals and may spread disease.
How do I check my pet for ticks?
Check your dog for ticks after even a short walk through the bush and grass. Examine your pet's fur deeply, behind and inside the ears, between the legs, around the neck, and between the toes.
How do I get rid of or prevent ticks?
Ticks on small pets and dogs can be removed and prevented using a variety of methods. Spot treatments, oral medications, tick collars, and even using a shampoo containing medicated ingredients to bathe your pet and kill ticks on contact are all options. Consult your veterinarian to determine the best option for you and your pet.
It's a good idea to keep your lawn well-trimmed to keep ticks away from your yard. Ticks will have fewer places to live and breed as a result, lowering the risk of ticks being present. During tick season, you should also limit the amount of time your pet spends outside.