Ticks Are Dog Lovers Too!

Just one simple walk outside and your furry baby comes back inside with a tick between its toes.  Dogs are the preferred host of choice. If you find a tick on your dog, the odds are, you may find one in your home.  What’s a pet owner to do?  First of all, you should remove the tick from your dog and inspect for additional hitchers.  Secondly, if you find multiple ticks on your dog, you should call a professional pest control company to inspect your home and to recommend the appropriate treatment both indoors and out.

Pet owners often say, “I didn’t see anything flying around or jumping out of a tree. How did a tick get on my dog?”  The truth is ticks can only crawl.  They can’t jump or fly as many people assume. Ticks have other methods for finding a host.  Their sensory organs allow them to “smell” your dog’s breath. Also, they can sense your dog’s body odor, body movement, body heat, and the moisture in the air that your pet exhales. Ticks also can sense a trail or pathway that is frequently used by your dog.

When a tick determines a possible host area location, it climbs up a blade or two of grass or other plant and holds on with its four bottom legs.  It reaches out into the air with the remaining four legs and waves them around. This “questing” is how they search for a host. When your pet accidentally comes into contact with the outstretched legs, the tick simply grabs hold.  After successfully hitching a ride, the tick then begins to wander over your dog’s fur until it finds a warm thin area of skin near a small blood vessel where it’s easier to extract blood.

As soon as a spot is located, the tick begins to attach itself to your dog by injecting an anesthetic so that your dog doesn’t feel the “bite” as it inserts a harpoon like straw mouth part, called a hypostome, until it reaches blood. Once attached, the tick begins the gorging process.  A tick can be the size of a small grape after feeding.  It will detach when finished, but will not necessarily leave the host.

Many times a tick will detach and crawl off of your pet to lay eggs.  Often, that means inside your home. The tick looks for cracks and crevices in which to lay the eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the nymphs must feed on blood in order to survive.  It must find a host or it will die. This is when you may find them on yourself.  If you find ticks in this manner, please call Vulcan Pest Control immediately to assist you with a possible infestation!