Ticks


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Old 01-22-23, 08:35 AM
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Ticks

I live in north Louisiana. We have 2 little dogs. Over the last few weeks, we have been consistently finding small, (baby?) ticks on our dogs when they come in from outside. We've lived out here in the country for almost 5 years now & have never experienced an episode of ticks like this.
I'll be honest, I thought ticks were abundant in summer & dormant in winter but apparently, that's not the case.

We use Revolution that you put on their neck & shoulder areas.... from the vet.

Both are small dogs. One is a short legged, longhaired (naturally), Chihuahua / Dachshund (Weiner dog) mix. We keep her cut pretty short. She is red in color.
We tend to find the most ticks on her. Mostly when she comes in from outside crawling around on top of her hair. Very small brown ticks. We have found only a couple of ticks embedded on her. Standard dog ticks as we call them generically.

One is a Mountain Feist as best as we can tell. Possibly a mix but seems to be Feist for the most part. She is black & tan... a lot like a hound/beagle in color.
We have found an occasional small tick on her crawling around but mostly, we have found an occasional embedded tick on her. However not nearly the number of ticks we find on the other dog.

Its likely that the little red dog is hanging out where this bed of ticks are but, we normally let them out & they roam the 5 acres. If we go out with them, they normally stay right at our side. They don't ramble like they do when we aren't around so its hard to determine where they are going.

We have a Camellia bush at the corner by the back door & I am suspecting that bush.
We have open areas of yard.
We have an old barn.
We have about 1/2 acre of wooded area.
We have hedges & other various bushes & trees.
Quite a few hickory trees & pines.
The noted places are the places they tend to go to or near on a daily basis.

I agree, they could be any of these places. Least likely is the open yard in my opinion. I'm betting on the above mentioned bush.
Both dogs most of the time hang out together, but not always. They are independent to some degree. I suspect the red dog is more attractive to the ticks than the black & tan dog.

I need to find where these ticks are most likely bedded up & how to get rid of them.
PAbugman
 
  #2  
Old 01-22-23, 03:19 PM
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I live in SE Ct and ticks are part of life if you live in the country. My wife has been treated for Lyme on 3 different occasions. For us there are only two types, dog ticks and deer ticks although there are probably different varieties. We don't do anything special to control them, we just pick them off and kill them, hopefully before they become embedded. There just doesn't seem to be any specific area of our yard where they are concentrated so looking for a specific area to spray is probably ineffective.

I think it is important to check yourself closely (2 of my wife's Lyme infections had deer ticks imbedded behind her knee) and we brush and inspect her cats before taking them into the house. Contrary to popular advice, I wear shorts as much as possible when outside.

My personal record is 12 ticks on board after working in the garden.
 
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  #3  
Old 01-22-23, 12:25 PM
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Ticks here in PA generally find their host by hanging on a planting not far from the ground and waiting for a host to walk by and they latch on quickly. They prefer "edge" environment, meaning where short and tall grasses, plants, meet. So yes, to your observation that the open expanses of yard would be safer, but not immune to a larger flea/tick infestation. Stay vigilant. Hosts tend to walk along these edges and the ticks go high enough that they can latch onto the body of the host as opposed to the feet/legs. Smaller ticks such as deer ticks may do better as ground crawlers and finding their hosts while asleep or resting.

To really have a better insight to the ticks harborage, habits, preferred hosts, it is necessary to ID the ticks and that will lead us in a direction of learning. Small ticks may be the early stage of larger adults, or they may in fact be the full grown adults. Can't know without an ID.

County extension agents and offices are valuable here in PA for insect ID and I used them when I couldn't ID an insect, especially a deer tick that was on our son. Good source of objective information, no sales job. Here in PA, the county extension office is staffed by Penn State people. I'm sure that LA has a fine university available, but off hand, I don't know which it is.

I believe that Revolution is a fine product. I think that it requires the tick to feed on the host so it's always possible that ticks can fall or be brushed off inside the house. When people use repellents such as flea/tick collars, dusts, certain shampoos, the ticks will leave the host before feeding and often while inside. Sometimes people think they are getting "double action" when they do this, but the are really working against themselves, and maybe causing too much exposure to the active ingredient. Keep us posted with what you learn.

 
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Old 01-22-23, 05:14 PM
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I believe what CW indicated. Looking for a specific type or area of concentration is a fool's search. Wow, 3 times? That I could not imagine.
Little bit of history and science.
The major difference between these two tick species is that the deer tick has black legs and is an overall darker, more black color; while the brown dog tick has light brown legs and a brown body. Deer ticks also tend to be half the size of brown dog ticks.
Dog ticks do not transmit Lyme disease. Their bites rarely result in serious disease in Michigan, but like other wood ticks, dog ticks are a known carrier of Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia.
Adult American dog ticks can live for up to two years without food. They can be found in a waiting position on grass or other low vegetation along roads, paths, and trails.
A very good article about myths and facts concerning ticks can be found here.
Ticks: Sorting myth from fact to help prevent disease (osfhealthcare.org)
 
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Old 01-22-23, 08:52 PM
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Typed this before reading others but will post anyways.

Ticks are ambush critters and like to climb up something a bit taller and wait for a victim to walk by. This was my very successful attempt to catch or at least locate the source of my tick invasion.

I had read that dragging a white piece of cloth around would cause them to grab on allowing you to catch and remove them. Wow was it successful. Smaller yard than yours but collected about 80 the first routine going around inside and outside of our 30x30 fenced in area. Also did the front yard, total about one acre. Next day about half as many so made good progress.

Then I loaded my pump sprayer with Wondercide and treated all areas next to woods or near my fence, targeting the taller grass as opposed to the lawn.

For the next month I repeated my walk-around dragging my white cloth (old T-shirt) and only found one and that was from an area I had not treated. I was very pleased but shocked.

The next year has only produced a couple and have not sprayed again. I spray the Wondercide on a cloth and wipe down my mini dachshund.

As for small, a new hatch produces young about 1/32" across, would be very hard to spot.

I put a stick from arm to arm of that T-shirt and attached a 4' cord at the center and to a mop handle or other to create my drag.

More details if needed. I have been treated for Lyme once.

Bud
PS they may be called deer ticks but they are transported by birds, mice, rabbits and many other hosts. There are methods to treat mice to reduce what they transport.
 
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Old 01-23-23, 05:09 AM
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Bud,
I like that trick with the white drag cloth.

CW,
As kids we grew up camping in the wood's weeks at a time and I don't recall ever having a tick problem and the dog never seemed to have a problem either. I blame it on politics 😁 LOL
 
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Old 01-23-23, 05:26 AM
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I never saw a reason for the white color of the drag but as soon as I started picking some up I figured it out, easier to see what you caught. Checked the drag every few feet so it was easy to determine where they were coming from.
After 2 successful days of dragging I sprayed but no way had I cleared 100% of the ticks so I credit the spray with being VERY effective. I did not research that brand it was a gift from my daughter and supposed to be very safe for pets. I have since done some reading and really like it.
Bud
 
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Old 01-23-23, 06:07 AM
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Do a search for "tick drags with dry ice". It's been a survey method for decades. The carbon dioxide from dry ice tricks the ticks into thinking that a host is present.
 
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Old 01-22-23, 08:48 AM
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My daughter is a veterinarian, and she tells everybody that as long it's even slightly above freezing, ticks are active. Especially, if you're south of the New York State border area that typically does not have sustained freezing periods.
She lives in Central PA. and even now when she lets out her four Collies, she must comb them for flies and ticks. And she always finds some!
There is no specific place that ticks will breed. Any rural area or semi-rural (including city fields or even playgrounds) will have ticks. And with the deer problem roaming in most suburban areas, it's not safe to assume that you won't have them.

edit...Rereading you post, you are a prime candidate to have ticks all year round.
 
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Old 01-22-23, 01:12 PM
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Thanks for the advise. A couple of key points is;
We both grew up in the country but lived in town (subdivision) for several years. We finally moved back to the country in prep for our retirement. So, we aren't really new to seeing ticks. We've been here about 5 years and the infestation has seriously increased over the past 2 or 3 weeks. I'm just curious why?
We probably haven't gotten 5 or 6 ticks off of our dogs in the previous 5 years, yet over the past few weeks, we have gotten probably 10 or 12 off the dogs. So, something is up.
We've had a light winter so far with temps below freezing for maybe a week. We've had a considerable amount of "storms", then dry, then storms again. Its been warmer than usual for our winters. In the 60's - 70's last week. Been in the 50's last few days.

How should we treat the infestation when/if we do find the source?

I'll try to get a couple of pics of the next small tick we get & post it for you.
 
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Old 01-22-23, 05:16 PM
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There is no real "source", as the ticks are solitary, not social. The infestation level you are experiencing could be local to that area; not even county/state wide. I don't know that we could conclude anything from the fact that this is the worst in 5 or more years in that particular area. Everything goes in cycles and in areas.

Here in PA we rarely treat for ticks except sometimes in localized areas such as dog pens, etc. Identifying the specie of tick comes first, then we will know better what direction to go as far as treatment. By and large, the best/better treatments are the modern day veterinary treatments. The animal actually acts as the control agent as the ticks/fleas feed on them. That protects us humans, too.

If it turns out that these are "edge dwelling " ticks, then an insecticide directed on that edge could help, but no guarantees. These are issues that should be brought up with the county extension office as they are a valuable source of knowledge for determining habitat modification, insecticide treatment, tick repellents, etc. Get the ticks identified first and then you can make informed decisions and actions. This office will be familiar with local tick issues, as ticks vary from one geographic location to another.
 
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Old 01-22-23, 05:31 PM
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The first two times my wife was treated for Lyme she had the classic symptom - a very bright red circle around the area where the tick was imbedded. She was treated with anti biotics and seems to have no long term effects. The last time she had an imbedded tick I couldn't get it out so she went to the ER. They removed it, looked at her record and didn't even do a blood test they just prescribed the course of anti biotics.

I grew up in Northern Vt not too far from the border. Growing up on a farm and spending a lot of time in the woods, not only did I never see a tick, I never heard of them, Now they are widespread - "Fourteen different tick species have been identified in Vermont, but only five are known to carry pathogens — such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites — that cause disease in humans."

Global warming?
 
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Old 01-22-23, 05:48 PM
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the granule insecticide you can buy seem to be effective for a typical yard but with 5 acres would probably look into treating the dogs there is many permethrin products for pets also much like you would spray on your clothes to prevent picking up ticks.
 
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Old 01-22-23, 06:15 PM
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Ok great! Thanks guys. Y'all have really given me some good advice & direction.

These are probably deer ticks by the basic description & appearance to my recollection. They are pretty small & are dark. Best I remember, the legs were dark, possibly black. So that helps.
Again, when/if I do find another, I will try to take a decent pic of it & post it.

I think for now, I'm good.
 
 

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