Monthly Archives: April 2015

20 Facts about Ticks!

  1. Although commonly referred to as insects, ticks are technically arachnids.
  2. Ticks are classified as parasites since they all feed on the blood of host animals.
  3. Tick species number in the hundreds, but only a handful typically transmits disease to humans.
  4. The ticks of greatest concern in the US are the blackegged tick (also known as the deer tick in the eastern US), the Lone Star tick, and the dog tick.
  5. Ticks do not jump or fly. Typically, they transfer to hosts by waiting on tall grass and crawling aboard when a mammal happens by.
  6. Ticks can be active when the ground temperature is above 45 degrees Farenheit.
  7. TicksTicks that endanger humans also choose deer hosts and are usually prevalent wherever deer are found.
  8. Tick bites often go undetected because they do not hurt or itch.
  9. Ticks that enter your home can live there for extended periods.
  10. There are two families of ticks: hard ticks (Ixodidae) and soft ticks (Argasidae).
  11. Hard ticks have three distinct life stages: larva, nymph and adult.
  12. Soft ticks may go through a number of nymph stages before reaching adult status.
  13. Tick larvae are not believed to carry pathogens. The pathogens are received from the host when the larvae take their first blood meal. They will not feed again until nymph stage.
  14. The nymph stage is believed to be most responsible for infecting humans as nymphs are small and can more easily go undetected on the skin.
  15. An adult tick can wait for months to more than a year to find a suitable host before grabbing hold and feeding.
  16. Adult ticks will feed for several days to more than a week.
  17. Disease transmission  does not occur for an estimated 10-12 hours after feeding begins.
  18. They have tremendous reproduction potential and can lay several thousand eggs.
  19. To remove feeding ticks dab them with alcohol, first.  If this does not work, take tweezers, grasp the tick at the skin level and pull steadily until it is removed.   If any mouth parts are left in the skin, they will not be able to transmit the disease, the the wound should be treated with an antiseptic to prevent secondary infection.
  20. Cats do not appear to be at risk for Lyme.

Leave a comment

Filed under Outdoorliving, Ticks

Heartworm – Mosquitoes and Dogs

Ever wonder how your pet could ever contract Heartworm?   It’s those same mosquitoes that are buzzing around you when you are trying to relax on your deck in the evening.    While they are a nuisance to you, they can be deadly to your pet.

“Approximately 25% of the 60 plus species of mosquitoes known in Michigan are capable of transmitting dog heartworms and these include many of the species that are major pests to humans”, says the Department of Ag in the state of Michigan.

heartworm

Mosquitoes are also the transmitter of other viruses in our pets.  They transmit these when they are taking the blood meal.   Don’t get to worried about the next mosquito bite as it has to happen with their is a certain concentration in the blood to transmit the virus.   Other diseases found in Michigan include:  St. Louis Encephalitis, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Western Equine Encephalitis, California Encephalitis and most recently West Nile is showing up in Michigan.

Most of these cases are limited in Michigan, however, there are lots of ways to protect yourself and your pets.    The most important is to keep standing water to a minimum on your property.   This will limit the reproduction of mosquitoes.   Remember a source as small as a water bottle cap can produce 300 mosquitoes in less than a week.

Leave a comment

Filed under Outdoorliving