Ticks are hardy arachnids, having their body more or less covered with hard plates. The adult females engorge themselves with blood once, leave the host, lay eggs and die.
All ticks pass through 4 stages : egg, larva (seed tick), nymph and the adult. Both male and female swell their bodies greatly when they take a blood meal.
The unengorged adults may be found hiding in cracks or crawling about on walls or floor near the sleeping places of dogs. They attach to the dogs on any part of the body but especially on the ears. They are occasionally confused with bed bugs but are smaller than adult bed bugs and are not associated with the sleeping places of man. The engorged females may be found in cracks behind window casings and base-boards but often crawl upward and may get behind pictures, picture mouldings or crevices. Egg masses are found where the females settle down.
Ticks prefer warm, dry climates which our interiors of home provide. They are most active and abundant during summer.
Control Measures :
Effective eradication would call for treatment for the dog and the house simultaneously. The former has to be attended by the client with the help of a veterinarian. The treatment for the house has to be a complete one with intensive 3 monthly treatments to achieve desired results.
Every place that is frequented by dogs is a potential source of trouble; therefore basements, kennels, porches and outhouses should be checked and given attention.
In the spraying of homes extra attention should be given to spraying about windows and doors. The tick eggs are normally laid high upon the wall and when the eggs hatch, the young ticks are inclined to move down from the wall to the hiding places- hence the necessity of particular attention to the places indicated, as well as to folds in curtains and drops.