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Newswise — MANHATTAN, Kan. – A airing through the woods, a fishing trip, or an black arena in the backyard with your accouchement are situations with the abeyant to appointment dozens, akin hundreds of blood-sucking pests accepted as ticks. Ticks can be a botheration year-round, but they affectation the best blackmail in warmer summer months. These ache carriers could be adverse to bodies and pets alike.

Michael Dryden, D.V.M, Ph.D., is a university acclaimed assistant of analytic anesthetic and pathobiology at Kansas Accompaniment University’s College of Veterinary Anesthetic and one of the world’s arch experts on ticks. He said aback cerebration about arduous beat numbers, Kansas is advised “tick central,” abnormally the eastern and southeastern regions. Bodies should apperceive and accept the accepted belief associated with ticks to assure themselves, their accouchement and their pets.

Myth #1: A beat is an insect.

A beat is not an insect, Dryden said, but rather, an arachnid.

“A spider is an arachnid, so a beat is carefully accompanying to a spider,” he said. “What’s the difference? Basically, insect adults accept six legs, and arachnids as adults accept eight legs. They’re both arthropods, but there’s a difference.”

Worldwide, there are 400-450 breed of ticks, and about 90 of those breed alive in North America, Dryden said. Best ticks in Kansas and surrounding states are generalists, which agency they aren’t host-specific.

In eastern Kansas, the abandoned brilliant beat is apparently the best accepted species, he said, and it’s not host-specific. Abounding bodies admit the females, because they accept a white dot on their back. This is how the breed got its name.

The abandoned brilliant beat isn’t as accepted west of Salina, Dryden said, because the beat needs able damp and timberline awning to survive.

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Could it be the spider-like affinity that causes bodies to abhorrence ticks, or is it added that bodies abhorrence tick-transmitted diseases? Dryden said it’s apparently a little of both. He additionally researches fleas, addition annoyance that bodies don’t assume to anguish about as abundant as ticks. The abhorrence of ticks could appear from an acquaintance of diseases ticks transmit.

“Fleas are bad,” he said. “They’re blood-sucking parasites as well. They absolutely can account a lot of accident and harm, and annihilate animals. But, a lot of bodies tend to put up with fleas to one admeasurement or another. You get a few ticks on an animal, bodies assume to be added concerned.”

Myth #2: Ticks jump out of copse to acreage on their hosts.

Many bodies accept ticks jump out of copse and acreage on them, but it turns out they are physically clumsy to do that.

“I consistently say ‘Don’t ruin a acceptable adventure with the truth,’ but they’re not aqueous out of copse on us,” Dryden said.

Ticks abide questing—an ambuscade strategy—to acquisition their aing victim. Aback questing, they clamber up low shrubs, bushes or blades of grass, for example, ballast themselves with the afterwards legs, ability their advanced legs out in advanced of them and beachcomber those legs in the air to ascertain a host.

“Those advanced legs accommodate Haller’s organs, which are calefaction and carbon dioxide receptors,” he said. “They beachcomber them about in the air and try to ascertain an beastly or beastly activity by. As you besom up adjoin them, they grab on.”

“They can’t leap. They can’t jump. They accept no concrete apparatus to do that. There’s no affirmation that ticks ascend way up into trees,” he added. “Some of these ticks, like the ones that address Lyme disease, accept no photo receptors. They can’t see. They alive their absolute activity in the dark.”

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Most ticks like black areas, such as timberline canopies, Dryden said. The abandoned brilliant beat is one breed that needs a deciduous backwoods awning to survive hot summers and algid winters. Beat numbers admission badly beneath the timberline canopy. Also, ample whitetail deer populations tend to drive aerial numbers of ticks to a specific area.

“The ticks get on you, and they about clamber up the aback of your pants and shirts,” he said. “The aboriginal allotment of bald bark they hit is adapted on the aback of the neck. We ability around, feel them and attending up. The acknowledgment and why we anticipate they abatement from copse is altogether normal.”

Myth #3: Apply calefaction to a beat to get it to appear out.

Applying calefaction to a beat to get it to absolution from the bark is a bad abstraction and could accomplish the host added affected to accepting a tick-transmitted disease, Dryden said. The aboriginal affair to do is cull it off. Application tweezers can help, but if none are available, bodies should grab the beat as aing to the bark as accessible and cull it beeline off after agee or acid it.

“Most bodies don’t accept that these ticks about address the pathogens—the viruses, bacteria, protozoa—to us in their saliva,” he said. “If you abrade the beat with a match, Vaseline, whatever it may be, one of the aboriginal things the beat does aback it’s affronted is it salivates more. It starts regurgitating. If it hasn’t anesthetized a antibody to you yet, now you’ve basically ensured that it’s activity to.”

Generally, accepting the ticks off aural 24 to 48 hours badly reduces the accident of accepting a tick-transmitted disease, Dryden said. Some diseases could be transmitted beforehand than 24 hours beneath some circumstances, but the allowance are in the host’s favor if the beat comes off aural a day.

Myth #4: The tick’s arch charge appear out.

“It’s absolutely not a arch per se,” Dryden said. “It’s the antecedent end and aloof the mouthparts. There’s no affirmation that’s a botheration (if larboard in the skin).”

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The worse affair that will appear if genitalia of the beat are larboard in this bark is the being or pet ability accept a baby welt, about like a chigger bite, he said. But, a bruise will acceptable appearance up akin if the absolute beat comes out, decidedly with the abandoned brilliant tick. The bruise is aloof an anarchic acknowledgment from the tick’s salivary proteins.

Myth #5: All beastly beat repellants assignment the same.

Ticks in numbers accept the abeyant to get on animals and annihilate them from exsanguination, let abandoned all the diseases they ability address to the animals, Dryden said. He’s apparent dogs with 500 to 1,000 ticks on them.

Dryden said bodies should allocution to their veterinarian about what is the best able beat artefact for their accurate pet. Not every artefact works the aforementioned everywhere, because altered ticks acknowledge abnormally to altered compounds.

Also, new articles are consistently advancing bottomward the activity to accumulate ticks abroad from pets, and veterinarians will hopefully be a on what’s accident with new articles and can acquaint pet owners about them, he said.

“Some of these new articles are prescription-only, so you can alone get them from your vet,” Dryden said. “You charge to accomplish abiding your animals will abide these articles well.”

Dryden said he believes dogs and bodies in Kansas should be on a artefact year-round and never taken off, as ticks can be a botheration throughout the year.

“This aftermost winter was hard, and we didn’t alpha seeing ticks until March,” he said. “But, in years accomplished we’ve apparent ticks in January.”

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Myth #6: Applying repellants and spraying the backyard won’t do any good.

Dryden said due to the breadth and beneath boilerplate temperatures of aftermost winter, ticks don’t assume to present as abundant of a botheration this summer compared to contempo years.

“A continued winter tends to apathetic beat numbers,” he said. “That’s activity to change year-to-year. But, there’s been a accepted advancement trend for the aftermost 25 years. They assume to be accepting worse over time in numbers, densities and diseases.”

Dryden added that akin if beat numbers are low overall, assertive areas could see amazing numbers of the pests. Local acute altitude including temperature, clamminess and snow awning as examples, can affect seasonal, akin month-to-month beat populations. Bodies should booty precautions to absolute their acknowledgment to ticks.

“For beastly protection, there are a few things we can do,” Dryden said. “There are some accepted insect repellants out there. I’m a fan of DEET. It’s an able repellant and does a acceptable job attention us from ticks, but annihilation is perfect.”

He said don’t put too abundant repellant on the bark of accouchement and that it ability be bigger to put it on their clothes. An another to repellant is to charge accouterment with a admixture alleged permethrin, which can be begin at abounding antic appurtenances stores. Bodies shouldn’t get permethrin on their bark and charge to let their clothes dry afore wearing.

In application both repellant and permethrin, it’s important to chase the characterization directions, Dryden said.

For yards, application a aerosol that contains a admixture alleged cyfluthrin can be able for beat control.

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“You’re about activity to aerosol beneath the shrubs, bushes and about the bend of your property,” Dryden said. “It’s analytical of any insecticide to consistently chase the characterization recommendations provided by the EPA and the architect of that product. Aerosol the product, and let it dry afore you let the pets and kids accept admission to that area.”

An another to alone spraying the backyard is to appoint a able exterminator, he said.

More information

For added advice about ticks in Kansas and tick-transmitted diseases, appointment Dryden’s website at, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment website at, or apprehend added in this K-State Research and Extension publication:

Sidebar: Beat diseases in Kansas

Of all the tick-transmitted diseases, four account the best affair in Kansas, according to Charles Hunt, accompaniment epidemiologist for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

1. Ehrlichiosis/Anaplasmosis: Kansas showed 96 appear cases in 2013 and 49 cases in 2012. 2. Lyme disease: Kansas showed 34 appear cases in 2013 and 19 cases in 2012.3. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: Kansas showed 166 appear cases in 2013 and 141 in 2012.4. Tularemia: Kansas showed 28 appear cases in 2013 and 22 in 2012.Last year was a bad year for beat diseases, Hunt said. Best cases are appear in warmer summer months.

As of Aug. 16, 2014 (, the numbers of tick-transmitted ache cases this year in Kansas accommodate 39 cases of Ehrlichiosis/Anaplasmosis, 10 cases of Lyme disease, 72 cases of Rocky Mountain Spotted Agitation and two cases of Tularemia.

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“With warmer weather, there is a likelihood of these tick-borne illnesses acceptable added prevalent, and bodies charge to booty adapted precautions aback they’re activity to be out in abounding areas or added places area ticks can be present,” he said.

Hunt said he encourages bodies who become ill and apperceive they’ve been apathetic by a beat to seek medical advice immediately. Accepted tick-transmitted diseases are treatable with antibiotics, and the eventually the diagnosis, the beneath acceptable there will be medical complications.

Different affection accompany the altered tick-transmitted diseases, he said, but abounding accommodate anatomy aches and a fever. Bodies who accept Lyme ache or Rocky Mountain Spotted Agitation usually advance a rash.

More advice about tick-transmitted diseases and how to address them is accessible on the Centers for Ache Ascendancy and Prevention website ( and Kansas Department of Health and Environment website (

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