The life cycle of a tick can last 2 to 3 years, and most ticks go through 4 life stages–egg, larva, nymph, and adult. After hatching, ticks must eat blood at every stage in order to survive, and dogs and cats may be affected at any of these stages. In the case of deer ticks, eggs are laid in the spring by the adult tick. One tick can lay thousands of eggs. Eggs hatch in the summer into 6-legged larvae. Between fall and spring larvae will molt into 8-legged nymphs. In the fall, nymphs feed for 4-5 days before dropping off a host to transform into an adult. As noted, the nymph stage of ticks are especially common now, and are actively searching for a host. Many ticks become infected with more than one pathogen rather than just the Lyme bacteria through blood feeding.
Control of tick exposure involves several areas. Tick preventives are part of the program to control tick disease. Other areas include examining your dog or cat at least once daily for ticks, and keeping your yard free of tick habitat and spraying insecticide to kill ticks.
Ask us about the tick preventives we offer that are effective in protecting your dog and cat from tick exposure and disease.
The more you do to avoid tick encounters, the better off you will be in preventing potential illnesses caused by tick bites.