The American Dog Tick Is Tiny But Deadly
The American Dog Tick is very dangerous to dogs and humans because they carry a variety of diseases. They are known as the largest eastern wood tick and are mostly found east of the Rocky Mountains. They are described as reddish brown and may have white markings on their back. The adults measure about 1/4th inch long. The female becomes larger than the male because she maintains herself on the blood of the host animal or human. The female can become at least 1/2 inch long due to her feeding habits.
The adult tick appears to evolve during the spring season. They seem to arrive around April and May and sometimes remain until August. They are reported to live as long as two years in some areas. They have four stages of life that exist from the egg, to the larva stage, to what’s called the nymph and then they become an adult.
Although they prefer dogs they are will prey on larger mammals. At their convenience they will suck the blood of a squirrel, raccoons, cattle, sheep and other wild animals found in the forest. The female tick has demonstrated a more aggressive need than the male who survives off of less blood.
According to Wikipedia the American dog ticks are called Demacentor Variabilis. This species is found to carry bacteria known for spreading a disease called the Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF). Ticks also cause a condition called Tularemia. This is when the tick sucks blood from its victim. The problem that sometimes occurs is the host may not show the symptoms for several days after being attacked.
It may take from 2-9 days after the tick bite for the victim to have a fever along with other ailments such as muscle pain, headaches and sometimes a rash. A person may experience the rash on their hands and the bottom of the feet. It is extremely important to seek immediate medical attention because it has been known to be fatal when untreated.
The disease known as Tularemia has been reported to be transmitted from bites of several different species of ticks. This is common with hunters who unknowingly handle and skin dead infected animals. Some people may be familiar with the term “Rabbit Fever.” This is how it got its name.
This disease can also be caused by eating food that is undercooked or drinking contaminated water or simply inhaling contaminated dust. Most of the cases that have been reported occurs during May and September. The symptoms of tularemia may be an ulcer that grows at the site of the bite. It can cause the lymph nodes to swell. The person always complains that they have a fever.
Both of these diseases have been reported to cause paralysis in people and dogs. It is reported that the paralysis begins in the arms and legs. The person loses their coordination at first. It then continues to the face and the person’s speech may become slurred. It gives the appearance of a stroke. It finally affects the respiratory organs which causes difficulty in breathing. If the tick is not removed it can become fatal.
The positive aspect of the paralysis is it can be reversed once the tick has been removed. Studies show that recovery is complete. This is because the paralysis was caused by a toxin which is produced by the tick. Fortunately it was not a disease pathogen.
It is important that hunters and campers become aware of their environment so they can avoid this tragedy. Although this disease does occur throughout the United States it is most prevalent in the central states such as Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
Ticks have a habit of feeding on any part of a dog. They do however have favorite areas. They will choose to suck between the toes, sometimes the ears, and depending upon the size of the dog the tick may choose any deep folds of the dog’s skin. They will also devour little children when they can. It is suggested that parents really look closely at all parts of the child’s body. The ticks do take a liking to the back of the child’s neck.
Ticks have an interesting life span because they depend on blood from animals with a vertebrate in order to live their cycle of life. It has been discovered they can live up to 1000 days if they have not been fed.
These ticks will lay in wait in the grass or on any form of vegetation that will allow them to eventually find an unsuspecting host. Believe it or not it may take the female close to two weeks to become full with the blood she needs to survive. At this time when she has satisfied her need, she then leaves the host and begins to lay anywhere from 4000-6000 or more eggs. Once this is done the female ticks have been known to die.
The American Dog Tick loves to live in tall grassy areas. The more bush the better. This way they are hidden from their victims and can attack unseen. They relish in saltwater marshes and can live well in lakes and streams.
Families who enjoy the outdoors have to be careful around water, fields, lakes and open wooded areas. On many occasions (without their knowledge) people and dogs can also carry these ticks from outside to inside their living quarters.
To keep your home and property free from Ticks, call Alliance Pest Services New Jersey pest control experts.