Ticks, like fleas, are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of a host animal. They transmit a variety of diseases, the most well known of which in South Jersey is Lyme’s Disease. Since the habits of the tick are much like that of the flea, a lot of what you read about ticks in this blog will apply to the flea and vice versa
Many ticks, such as the deer tick, the brown dog tick, the groundhog tick and the bat tick are named for the host on which they are most commonly found. They are however, capable of feeding on just about any mammal and will take advantage of the food supply that is most readily available. Raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, bats, mice, possums and skunks are all known to host several species of ticks. These animals and others, including the family dog or cat are the main transporters of ticks from the wild to our domestic environment.
The rabbit, skunk, or other creature will come in contact with the tick in a wooded area or open field and then carry it onto your property. The tick will attach itself to an unsuspecting pet which will bring the parasite into your living space where it will drop its eggs. The eggs hatch into nymphs, they grow up and lay more eggs and the cycle continues, resulting in an infestation.
Even if your pet is kept indoors ticks can enter your attic or crawl space attached to hosts such as bats, squirrels, mice and, raccoons. After the invading wildlife is discovered and removed the tick may be left behind to forage for an alternate food source. This is when it may gain entrance to the living area. So if your home, attic or crawl space has recently harbored a woodland invader don’t be surprised if you soon experience a tick infestation.
Read more about getting rid of fleas and ticks:Ticks and Fleas