Animal Care bvba - Vets small and large domestic animals


A tick quests in grass stems or low brushes for a passing host and latches on to it when it passes by. Once on the animal, the tick crawls to a spot where the skin is at its thinnest and firmly bites itself onto its host. It embeds itself into the skin, as it were. By sucking blood, the females can grow to a length of up to a centimetre.

Once engorged with blood, the female releases herself from the skin and drops to the ground.

The female lays about 2,000 eggs in a secluded spot, after which she dies. From these eggs, 6-legged larvae develop (within a month). These also climb in grass stems and wait for a host animal, on which they suck blood for 3 to 8 days, until they are satiated. Then they drop to the ground and within three months they develop into 8-legged nymphs, which also look for a blood donor.

After that, the development into an adult tick takes another three to five months. The full development cycle of some species of ticks (that live on multiple host animals) can even last up to 3 years.

Warmth and high humidity are the ideal conditions for the development of ticks. Therefore, they are mostly active from spring to autumn.

tick » egg » larve » nymph » tick

Danger to humans and animals

Ticks (not only adult ticks but also larvae and nymphs) cause itching and skin injuries. Moreover, they can transmit serious diseases to both animals and humans. One of the best known is Lyme disease. Ticks introduce bacteria into the bloodstream which settle themselves in the meninges, joints and the pericardium. Lately, this disease is ever more present in Northern and Western Europe.

Measures to combat ticks

Tick control is necessary in areas with an increased risk of their presence, like in grassy and wooded areas or in the south of Europe. A dog which comes along on a vacation should best be protected against this. The moment a tick has clung itself to a dog, the diseases can be transmitted. A preventive treatment is therefore preferable. When a tick does attach itself to the animal, it needs to be removed very carefully. It is best to use tick tweezers for this. It is important that the tick´s head does not remain in the skin during this process.

Most products against fleas act against fleas but also against ticks. However, the time frame in which these products offer protection is relatively short.