What Is A Tick?
Ticks are small arachnids (spiders), not insects. Adult ticks have eight legs, a round-shaped body, and are usually 3 to 5 mm in length. They can be black, brown, or tan in color.
They live off the blood of animals, people, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. When a tick feeds off of an animal or human, it can pass on a number of diseases – yuck!
Where Do Ticks Hide?
Ticks are usually found in forests, meadows, gardens and parks. Dogs can pick up ticks while walking through tall grass or crawling through shrubs.
Ticks can survive the cold winter months by living underground. When it gets warmer outside, they immediately begin looking for hosts to feed on.
How Does A Tick Bite?
Ticks search for soft, warm areas of the skin with little to no hair to latch on. It then secretes a numbing chemical, so that the host doesn’t feel their mouth-parts cut through their skin.
Then, the tick inserts a feeding tube and feeds on blood until it is full. Their mouth-parts are barbed so that your dog can’t scratch to get rid of the tick. When the tick is full, it will fall off on its own.
Not all ticks transmit disease, but all tick bites should be taken seriously. It may take several hours to transmit a tick-borne disease to a host. The sooner a tick is located and removed, the lower the risk of a transmitted disease. 1