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Ticks are known to be blood-sucking parasites that cling to the body of hosts ranging from humans to animals as soon as they get a chance.
Although they are popular because of their parasitic nature, many people don't know the fact that ticks are actually born in nature. On maturing, they remain attached to grass blades waiting for a host to walk by brushing up against it so that they can grab onto its body in search of food and shelter.
Ticks are generally found in the United States of North America. More than 800 species of these parasites have been recorded out of which only four are most common and therefore closely monitored. The four common types of ticks are the American dog tick, lone star tick, brown dog tick, and black-legged tick. Overall, all the species may appear typically the same but they have some unique distinct features that set them apart from each other. Ticks can transmit several harmful diseases in animals. They are a common carrier of the pathogens for Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Therefore it is necessary to get rid of a tick as soon as you or your pet catches one.
Before asking the question where do ticks come from, it is important for you to know are you approaching a tick habitat unknowingly. A tick habitat may be present right outside your door. Once the larvae come out from eggs, they start searching for hosts like rabbits, humans, dogs, and birds to survive in their skin. Ticks remain active throughout the year but they are most active during the spring. During this time, the larvae and nymphs form piles under decomposing trees. Therefore, you must be very cautious while passing by such trees in wooded areas in the springtime to avoid the transmission of ticks. Although ticks are most likely to be transmitted from outdoor environments, there are some species that tend to live indoors.
If you enjoyed this article, why not also read about where do termites come from and why do bugs like light here on Kidadl.
Ticks are picked up from wooded areas or vegetation patches. The primary source from where dogs may get ticks in their bodies is nature. However, they might also get them from other living beings.
They are susceptible to tick infestations mostly when they play around in the yard among grasses. The warmth of the dog's blood and their odor attracts ticks. Therefore, it is better to avoid having high grasses in the garden. Dogs should also be regularly checked whether their bodies contain any ticks. The easiest way to do so is while stroking your pet if you feel small bumps on their fur they might be at risk of tick infestation.
The deer tick is named so based on their preferred host which is a species of deer.
The deer tick has dark legs. Therefore, they are also known as black-legged ticks. These ticks prefer to feed on warm-blooded adult white-tailed deers. They were first recorded in the Elizabeth Islands of the northern United States.
Ticks do not reproduce and multiply on the bodies of their hosts. They are actually born in nature and from there, they attach themselves to the body of mammals.
The tick reproduction process begins in spring but before reproducing, they detach themselves from the host's body. The eggs are therefore not laid on the host's skin but they are capable of laying thousands of eggs anywhere on the surface. The larvae or nymphs attach themselves to grass so that they can be transmitted into the body of an animal to live and feed. Ticks feed and gain strength through each stage of their lives until they become an adult and mate after two years.
Once the larvae come out from the egg, they start affecting pets and people. The tick starts by embedding small host bodies in the beginning; they gradually take control over larger hosts as they grow bigger in size. Before detaching themselves from a particular host, a tick will have a grand blood meal. They find a suitable spot to molt into another stage and thereby look for another host. Grassy areas and wooded areas are great places where you can easily pick up ticks on your clothing or hair.
Tick bites are not that painful but their presence is quite irritating. Apart from the irritation a bit causes, one reason why tick infestation is regarded as dangerous is that they are well-known carriers of pathogens for Lyme disease. They also fuel the transmission process of several other tick-borne diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI).
Even though ticks are generally found outside living in the environment, there are some ticks like the brown dog tick that can be found indoors. Cleaning up the piles of dirty laundry and waste products might help in keeping these parasites out of the home.
Ticks can hide almost anywhere. The first step to control tick attacks in your home is to keep it clean and tidy. These indoor ticks are also capable of laying indoors unlike American dog ticks. Therefore before tick removal from your home becomes too difficult, it is better to stay safe by keeping the floors neat and tidy.
Ticks generally prefer to occupy wooded areas consisting of tall grass and leafy shrubs. Staying attached to plants of short height widens their opportunity to attach themselves to the legs of their hosts. Therefore, ticks are found mostly in areas near tall grasses and dense shrubs.
Since they are unable to fly or jump, they avoid inhabiting trees. It also gets a bit difficult for ticks to brush up against their hosts if they live in trees. Most ticks originate in typically similar types of habitats. There are three probable locations from where ticks can transmit originally. They are most commonly found in grassy areas consisting of low vegetation. They crawl up grass blades, bush leaves, and shrubs in wood pastures waiting for their meal. As soon as an animal or human passes, they latch on to their body or clothing.
Transitional vegetation where forest edges consisting of tall grass transition into wide fields and meadows also act as tick hotspots.
Transmission of some indoor ticks originates from the nests and dens of pets or other wild animals. When they visit humans, they carry the ticks in their hair and brush them up against their property.
Unlike those parasites that spend their entire life living under their host's skin, adult ticks do not reproduce on the bodies of their hosts. Ticks either lay outdoors in areas covered with grass or inside the host's home. The larva and nymph then attach themselves to the legs and bodies of mammals to feed on them.
Female ticks lay eggs mainly during the summer. Even though they are microscopic in size, the females can produce thousands of eggs. Once they reach the larvae stage in the late summer, they are ready to feed on the blood of other mammals. The larva in its younger stage is not capable of spreading infection. As they transition into the nymph stages, they become capable of transmitting diseases. The nymph stays inactive in the winter months. They either live in the nests of hosts or in areas near leaf litter. They search for new hosts at the onset of May.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for where do ticks come from then why not take a look at where do maggots come from or black-legged tick facts?
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