• Ticks: A Big Problem

    Ticks spread disease. But understanding just how they do it underscores how important it is to treat a pet with a product that kills them. Protect your pets before it becomes a serious issue in your home.

    How ticks grow.
    Ticks have two things on their minds: biting and blood. They aren't picky eaters: it can be yours or your pet's blood that fuels their growth.
    All kinds of ticks.
    There are several types of ticks in the world. All of them feed on blood and can spread disease.
    Fast facts on ticks.
    From how much they eat to how many eggs they lay, there’s a lot to learn about ticks.

    How Ticks Grow

    Ticks have two things on their minds: biting and blood. They bite down and bury their heads into the skin while they ingest blood and can transmit animal-to-animal or animal-to-human disease at any stage of development.

    Stage 1: The Eggs. Ticks begin as eggs that hatch into six-legged larvae. Adult females of some tick species lay approximately 100 eggs at a time while others lay 2,000 to 5,000 eggs per batch. Regardless of species, tick eggs hatch in about two weeks.

    Stage 2: The Larvae. The larvae live and feed on animals or humans for approximately one week before detaching and then molting (shedding) anywhere from one week to eight months later. The larvae then become eight-legged nymphs.

    Stage 3: The Nymph. Nymphs feed on animals, engorge for three to 11 days, detach and molt about a month later — depending on the species and environmental conditions. Deer tick nymphs are close to the size of a poppy seed. The often go unnoticed until fully engorged and are responsible for nearly all Lyme disease cases.

    Stage 4: The Adults. Once the nymph molts, it becomes an adult tick. Adult ticks climb up grass and plants and hold their legs up to sense or “look for” their prey. They hop on board an unsuspecting pet or person and feed. An adult female tick can increase her size up to 100 times her original weight while feeding! After feeding, she mates and lays eggs — usually between 2,000 and 5,000 eggs at a time. And the cycle starts all over again.

    Types of Ticks

    There are several types of ticks in the world. All of them feed on blood and can spread disease. Here are five types you’ve probably heard about.

    American Dog Tick: This tick is found across North America and attacks dogs, humans, cattle, horses and other large mammals.

    Brown Dog Tick: This tick almost exclusively attacks dogs. If a dog is infested, the overflow of ticks can be seen on walls and furniture!

    Gulf Coast Tick: These pests are found along the coastline from Virginia to Texas in the U.S. and in the West Indies, Mexico and South America. They attach to the inside of the ears.

    Lone Star Tick: These ticks aren’t picky and will attack mammals and birds alike. The female of this variety has a tell tale white spot.

    Black-legged Tick (deer tick): These ticks transmit Lyme disease. Deer ticks often hide in shady, moist areas. Adult ticks can often be found above the ground clinging to tall grass, brush, and shrubs waiting to find a blood meal.

    Fast facts on ticks

    While ticks are no one’s favorite, there are lots of facts to know about this itchy, scratchy foe.

    Size and shape: Because there are several species of ticks, size and shape may vary. Adult black-legged ticks are about the size of a poppy seed. Females can swell to 1/4 inch when fully engorged after feeding. Whether it’s an adult Lone Star Tick or a Brown Dog Tick, these pests have eight legs.

    Mobility: Ticks are not designed to jump. They like to crawl to their destination and stay put, literally. They actually insert a feeding tube into the host that helps keep the tick in place.

    Food: Blood. Yes, blood is how ticks survive and grow. They need the energy from the blood to develop. Without this, they have no chance of survival.

    Infestations: Ticks in the home can result in a large number of ticks found on your body or on your pet. Watch out! Since ticks require blood to survive, ticks in your home will attach themselves to the host and stay a while. It’s best to remove them right away.

    Bites: When ticks find a feeding spot, they grasp the skin of the host (a pet, person or other animal) and cut into the surface with their biting mouthparts.