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Tick Facts; a Ticks’ Guide to Survival in Des Moines by Dr. Nancy Peterson

June 14, 2013

Tick Facts; a Ticks Guide to Survival – What your Des Moines Pet Clinic would want you to Know

1. Don’t tell anyone you aren’t super tick: You can’t jump or “fall from trees”. You do get excited and are attracted by movement, warmth from bodies and CO2 emitted by humans and pets. You are happy to hitchhike a ride when someone walks through tall grass, bushes and brush. Don’t just live in rural areas, there are plenty of host opportunities in Des Moines itself! 2. You spend more of your life OFF your host and in the environment: Some ticks can live and prosper inside people’s homes. 3. Be hardy & survive for a long time: Some females can survive for up to 3 years without a meal! 4. Lay lots of eggs: Ticks lay somewhere between 300 and 6000. 5. Have multiple lives or life stages: Ticks live on 3 different hosts during their life span all requiring a blood meal. By the time a female has finished feeding she may have increased her weight by 100 times! 6. Don’t stress about the diseases you transmit: Your bite isn’t as bad as what you transmit. The bite may only cause local irritation. The diseases (Lyme, Rocky Mt Spotted Fever, and Erhlicha) can cause serious illness in pets and people. Symptoms may be fever, paralysis, lameness, anemia and others – requiring care from your Des Moines pet clinic. 7. Stay away from pets that have attentive owners: They will especially be checking the head, ears, and paws (your favorite hiding places) after they have been in your neighborhood. 8. Stay away from animals that have seen their Des Moines pet clinic: they will be routinely using safe and effective tick products.

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