One of the most important ways to prevent Lyme disease is learning how to spot ticks that can spread the disease.Deer ticks or black legged ticks are very tiny. Some are the size of a poppy seed. Dog ticks are much larger than Deer ticks and do not spread Lyme.
The lifespan of ticks is about 1 to 2 years. Their sex is not differentiated until the reach adult stage.
- In order to advance to the next stage they need a blood meal
- Females lay 2000 to 3000 eggs
- Females continue to look for blood meals while males stop eating and just look for a female to mate with, (no different than a human)
0% of larvae are infected
30% of nymphs are infected
50% of adults are infected
When ticks put their mouth parts into the person or animals skin there is a release of a numbing substance. That is why we don’t feel the bite. Ticks feed on blood within the skin. Ticks can only use the more solid part of our blood. They are able to separate the liquid part and rid it from their bodies by regurgitating it back into their host. It is this liquid that contains the bacterium that cause disease. (Now that is so disgusting). If not found they will take about 3 meals. They can stay attached for weeks.
It is unsure how Deer ticks survive the cold, however Dog ticks produce and anti-freeze substance that keeps them from freezing
Outside of Lyme disease Deer ticks can carry other infections, some are: Babesia, Bartonella, Erlichicia, Anaplasma, Powasson virus.
Each can have overlapping symptoms. Babesia is known to cause “air hunger:” It feels like you cannot get adequate oxygenation.
I have been told by Professor Rich, Director of the Laboratory of Medical Zoology at UMass Amherst, that Dog ticks do not carry Lyme disease. He is the expert!
As always, My Best to You,