by MACOR Industries Inc.

Did you know…..?

What are ticks?

Ticks are parasites, which belong to the subclassification of mites (Acarina), a member of the Spider family (Arachnea). These eight-legged creatures are among the most feared parasites threatening man and pet alike (not to mention horses, cattle, and and even reptiles), with many nasty, debilitating and, if not treated, even fatal diseases. They feed solely on blood and are carriers of numerous microparasites, such as viruses, bacteria, etc.

The Life Cycle of the Tick

As opposed to fleas, ticks spend about 90% or more of their lifetime OFF the host. There are about 850 tick species, most of which have a four-stage, three-host life cycle, with each stage preferring a specific host. The stages of this cycle are:

· Egg

· Larva

· Nymph

· Adult

All ticks, after hatching, develop into six-legged larvae and must have a blood meal before their metamorphosis into eight-legged nymphs. Once they have fed, nymphs molt into adult ticks. In each stage, they must feed before molting or egg laying. The adult hard tick can survive as long as three years before finding a host and can then mate before or after feeding. Ticks can lay from 1,000 to 4,000 eggs, depending on the species. Larvae and nymphs feed mainly on smaller animals. The adult tick feeds mainly on larger animals and humans.

TRANSMISSION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES EITHER TRANSSTADIAL 
OR VERTICAL DURING THE LIFE CYCLE OF A  TICK 

 Size of Ticks:

The size of ticks increases with their life cycle. As larvae, they may be only the size of a pinhead. As nymphs, they are about twice the size. Adults can be about one-tenth to three-eighths of an inch. Ticks can transmit disease in each of these stages.

Development stages of a tick

How do ticks locate their hosts?

The tick is very well equipped in locating a host with the use of its specialized sensors. The two front legs are equipped with Haller’s organ, a multifunctional sensory organ that has olfactory, gustatory, thermal and mechanical sensory abilities, which can detect carbon dioxide and pheromones. It allows the ticks to be very selective in choosing their hosts. Often the ticks sit on tall grass and shrubs, waiting for the unsuspecting host. They have neither a problem moving on the host nor clinging and holding on—looking for an especially warm and “juicy” part of the anatomy (which has a good blood supply, such as ears, thighs, inside of the elbow and even genitals, etc.).

How do ticks attach themselves to host?

Once it has found “the spot,” it injects a numbing substance so that the actual “bite” goes undetected. Ticks feed and attach themselves with their barbed mouthparts. Multiple barbs resist being pulled out, similar to a fishhook. In addition, special cement is secreted, which bonds the tick to the host. This helps prevent the tick from being brushed off.

Where do ticks live and how can we protect ourselves?

Very frequently the ticks that attach themselves to our pets or us are found right in our own backyard. The risk of “acquiring” a tick could be reduced by 75% by removing leaf litter around the perimeter of a yard. This is because the nymphal stage of the tick is found mainly in leaf litter. To further reduce the number of ticks coming across the lawn from woody areas on the perimeter, a three-foot wide wood chip barrier can be added. There are also pesticides containing synthetic pyrethroids that can also be applied to the lawn, which provide about 85% tick control with a single application in early summer.

When enjoying the outdoors, ticks can and do attack almost everywhere. It is, therefore, essential to be alert and expect tick attacks.

How do ticks become infected with diseases and how do they infect their hosts?

Ticks can get infected during any of the three development stages (larva/nymph and adult tick) by taking a blood meal from an infected host—the “vertical infection.”

An infected female tick can pass on infection through the eggs to the larva, the “transovarial infection.” The infected larva or nymph will pass on infection to the adult tick by “transstadial infection.”

Ticks can infect the host in any development stage through the blood meal, the “vertical infection.” This does usually not occur immediately after the bite. Infection can occur several hours later. It is, therefore, very important to locate and remove attached ticks as fast as possible, making absolutely certain the tick is removed completely with no parts of it remaining imbedded in the skin of the host.

THE LIFE CYCLE OF A TICK

Summary:

Ticks are dangerous parasites that transmit potentially deadly diseases. Rather than diagnosing and treating these diseases, the best prevention is to locate and remove ticks prior to infecting the host. Being aware of ticks, searching actively for them on the body—in particular after visiting the outdoors—and correct removal practices without using force or pulling are the best methods of protection.

The De-Ticker II is ideal for tick removal without force, using the “gentle turning method.” It is very easy to use and removes ticks completely and consistently. A “pocket clip” facilitates taking the device along to the outdoors for immediate and safe removal of ticks.