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An American dog tick or also was known as the wood tick is a worrisome species of tick that can carry several diseases. The diseases that they are carrying can both be dangerous to hand and pets. Wood ticks are a part of the hard tick family and are known for their hard shells, scrotums, and their prominent head.
How to identify a wood tick
A wood tick is the one that is easy to identify since they are highly colorful. The pattern that they have on their bodies are grayish in color. Male does have a mottled greedy coloration along their backs. Some people might mistake the wood tick for the deer ticks. These are the ones that carry Lyme disease. The wood tick though doesn’t carry this type of diseases.
The wood tick is also the one that has an oval and wide body. Its the one that has a flattened top. The female wood tick is the ones that are generally larger than the males. They can measure at around 5mm long when engorged with blood. Once they are full of blood then they can expand as much as 15mm long and 10mm wide. The males will just be measuring 3.6mm long when they are not engorged.
The life cycle of a wood tick
The life cycle of a wood tick can be distinguished into four different lifecycles. Once the ticks are hatched then they will need to feed on the host blood at every stage of their life stage. They need to do this in order for them to survive. The newly hatched tick is also known as the larvae or a seed tick. Tick larvae have only six legs and are around 1/8 inch in size.
Ticks don’t have the ability to jump. That is why they will just be standing on grass or other vegetation until a warm bodied mammal walks by. This is the time that they will latch on it. This is what is referred to as questing. This will look like the tick is trying to stand up and grab the sky. Once the larvae have fed on its initial host, it will then drop to the ground. This is where they will molt into a nymph.
The nymphs will lie into the grid and wait until the host will come by. They usually latch on mammals like raccoons and possums or any larger animals that are available. The nymph will continue to feed on the host until it becomes engorged. It will again drop to the ground and will molt into an adult tick.
Once the adult tick is all ready then it will hunt for its next host. The adult tick usually will usually lodge into larger animals like deer and dogs. This will give them a chance to feed, breed, drop off and lay their eggs. Once the female has already laid its eggs then it will die. This entire lifecycle of a tick can last from three months to up to eighteen months.
How to handle pets with ticks
If you are going for a will with your dog, it is better to stay always at the center of the path. You need to look out for tree branches that hang over your head. Ticks usually drop from trees and lodge into their prey.
You need to keep your pets away from leaf litter and piles of branches or leaves. This is where ticks also use to stay and wait for their prey.
Once you have already come home, then it is better to always do a tick check on your pets and also on yourself. You need to check the inner ears of your pets, in between the pads, the inguinal area, and any skin folds and around the vulva of the female. These are the places where ticks would like to hide since it is warm and humid.
If your pets have long hairs then they are the ones that are more prone to ticks. The reason for this is that ticks will have more hair to hang on to. What you need to do though is to see to it that you will brush your pet every after a walk to remove any hangers on them.
You also need to keep your yard clean and clipped. Ticks love to live on the fringes of the yard or the woods. That is why keeping your area free form any debris will certainly help in preventing ticks from getting into your yard and into your pets.
Ticks are considered to be hardy pets. They can bring harm to your pets and to humans as well. Making sure that you are able to spot them before they are able to proliferate is very important in making sure that you and your pets will be free from these pesky pests.