Ticks

Identification

  • Colour Brown and black to grey
  • Size About 3 to 5mm long
  • Description Have external mouthparts that extend from the head, four pairs of legs, no wings, and no antennae.

General Facts

Why do I have ticks?

Common tick species found in Canada include the black-legged tick, more commonly known as the deer tick, the brown dog tick, the American dog tick, and the Rocky Mountain wood tick. Ticks prefer to live in densely wooded areas, forests and grasslands, although the Rocky Mountain tick prefers areas of brush at higher elevations. Most ticks are external parasites on mammals, birds, and reptiles and need to suck the blood of their host to survive. When ticks enter homes, it's usually riding on a household pet. To attach themselves to a host, ticks either grasp onto random animals as they pass over their habitat or lie wait for potential hosts to brush up against them. After engorging on the blood of the host, the tick will usually fall off and find shelter somewhere until the need to take another meal becomes imperative.

How worried should I be about ticks?

Ticks carry bacteria and viruses known to cause serious illness in both humans and animals, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia, a potentially fatal infectious bacterial condition characterized by fever, weight loss, and ulcers. The blacklegged tick can also spread Lyme disease, which causes fatigue and may also lead to extreme problems with the central nervous system, and the neurotoxins they produce can cause tick paralysis and the loss of muscle function. Ticks can breed exponentially, with females laying thousands of eggs in her lifetime. To protect your family and your pets, you need consult with a professional pest control service.

How can I prevent ticks invading?

Keep grass mowed, Remove all leaf and weed litter, Trim back tree branches, Manage outdoor pet activities, Wear protective clothing, Use tick repellents

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