Ticks might not only carry diseases that may affect you and your pet, but they can also breed on your dog. A tick on your pet can eventually lead to an infestation on your furry friend and in your home. By being vigilant and interrupting the mating cycle, you can help keep your dog happy and healthy.
How Do Ticks Breed?
Ticks can breed quickly and are sometimes hard to spot, making tick infestations such a common problem in tick-prone areas. It can start with your dog when they venture outside or during a walk in a grassy or wooded area. Though the breeding process can vary by tick species, these general steps can take from weeks to months, depending on conditions in your area:
- The ticks wait on blades of grass or other plants for a passing host. They can’t jump, so they attach to a host when the animal (usually a small animal such as a rodent) brushes by wherever they’re lying in wait.
- The tick feeds on this initial host, sometimes for several days, before dropping to the ground.
- The tick molts, becoming a nymph, then lies waiting for a second host. They prefer smaller hosts such as rabbits or raccoons at this stage. They’ll feed, drop to the ground, and molt again, becoming adult ticks.
- The tick will wait for a third host. At this stage, they prefer large hosts such as deer and dogs. If they attach to your dog, they will feed, breed if possible, and can even lay eggs on your dog that will hatch into larvae. Those larvae will feed on your dog, and the cycle will begin again.
How Do Dogs Get Ticks?
Some things attract or harbor ticks, and it’s worth keeping them in mind. If you can eliminate these things from your yard, you can reduce the chance that you’ll have a tick problem.
- Tall grass and overgrown plants: These can harbor ticks and give them easy access to your dog and the rest of your family.
- Leaf piles: Since these areas are also prime spots for ticks to hide and breed, keeping them clear can reduce the number of spots ticks like to gather.
- Animal and Bird Feeders: Ticks are often found in areas because they can attach themselves to the rodents who eventually come to eat the birdseed or other feed. They wait for an animal to come by and attach to them while they feed.
Of course, you can’t eliminate every plant in your yard, and rodents are a fact of life in many areas. But getting rid of these more obvious hiding places is a good start.
Related Topic: How to Check Dog for Ticks
What Do Ticks Do to Dogs?
Aside from breeding on your dog, ticks also feed on your dog’s blood, which creates a new set of concerns:
- Too many ticks feeding on your dog can weaken the dog, causing lethargy and general discomfort.
- Ticks can carry Lyme disease, which can also infect your family.
- The breeding cycle can continue, causing a worse infestation over time.
Knowing what to do if your dog has a tick will help mitigate these issues. Checking the dog over regularly, especially along their back, legs, and hind end, is a good idea and will help you spot ticks before they cause too much irritation. Remove them using tweezers and pluck them out as close to the dog’s skin as possible. Be careful when using a tweezer to remove ticks; make sure you completely remove the tick from your dog and that you’re not leaving the tick’s head or part of its body behind. You can also purchase flea and tick repellent sprays to protect your dog.
Do Ticks Lay Eggs on Dogs?
If not found and removed right away, ticks that breed on your dog will sometimes lay eggs on them as well. The larvae that hatch from those eggs have a very convenient feeding source: your dog’s blood. This can affect your dog’s health, and that of your family, in a variety of ways. The easiest way to reduce the risks that come with ticks is to prevent your dog from getting ticks in the first place. While this isn’t easy, it is possible with the help of your neighborhood Mosquito Joe.
Related Topic: How to Remove a Tick from a Dog
Protect Your Dog and Family from Ticks
As ticks continue to extend their habitat across the U.S., the potential for tick and mosquito-borne diseases has also grown. One of the best ways to deal with this potential threat is to take preventative steps to protect your family and your pets. Your local pest control pros at Mosquito Joe can help. We offer traditional and natural barrier sprays that effectively help keep pests, like ticks and mosquitoes away, for up to thirty days. To learn more or to get started, call us at 1-855-275-2563 or schedule an appointment online today.