Ticks are the most common external parasites of many animals, including the cats. Tick does not refer to insects, like flies or fleas, it refers to the arachnids. In the wild there are approximately 850 species of ticks. According to the structure of the body ticks are divided into two families – Ixodidae and Argasidae.
For the beginning, it is important to understand that the ticks is houses and those which we bring from the forest are different things. Home ticks, as opposed to the “forest”, do not feed on human blood. They feed on scales of human epidermis and microflora formed in them. They live in the dust, beds and mattress.
Home ticks are very small, the size is 0.1-0.2 mm. To detect them with the naked eye is impossible. Do not try to look for them in flour or in your own mattress. They can be seen only at 30-40-fold magnification.
The most dangerous are forest ticks. They not only try to get into the skin, but also carry a lot of dangerous diseases.
The most favorite place of home ticks is bed, also they live in sofa, mattress and pillows. They live in big colony and nest locations are in above mentioned places. They want to be as close as possible to the human. Previously it was thought that the ticks have come to us from the birds: from the wild – to the home, from geese and chickens, or rather their feathers, to the living space.
Human habitats are very comfortable for these insects. Sufficiently high temperatures and relatively high humidity are perfect conditions for breeding. In addition, you should look for ticks also in the kitchen – including cereals, flour, vegetables.
With the help of clothing ticks migrate from room to room. They can be found in hotels, kindergartens, theater, laundry, seats in buses and cars – almost everywhere.
Forest ticks live on trees and grass, but in search of food, they get on clothing of human, and then – into the house.
Harm to human
Home ticks produce allergens, which are allocated into the environment from the fecal pellets, accumulated in the dust. These pellets rise into the air, settling on the mucous of the upper respiratory tract, rapidly dissolve and get into the body. Ticks cause a variety of allergic diseases: allergic rhinitis, asthma, dermatitis, etc.
Of course, for the development of these diseases you should have genetic predisposition. But it is believed that the amount of 100 mites per 1 gram of dust is a reason to raise the alarm. Despite the fact that the infection of the apartment ticks is not widespread problem, pets and other inhabitants of the house can carry these parasites, which is fraught with the appearance of the bites on the body.
Forest ticks are most dangerous, because these arachnids are carriers of diseases, including Lyme disease, Q fever, tularemia, tick-borne fever, babesiosis and dog jaundice. These tiny parasites feed on the blood of mammals and birds, and sometimes they can attack even reptiles and amphibians. The most common victim of the tick remains dogs. Cats and people are also often victims of this blood-sucking parasite.
Causes, why appear such insects in the houses
Research has shown that ticks are attracted by the smell of animals and people, who regularly use the track while moving through the forest. Sitting on the edges of the foliage in the woods and along the park paths, at the approach of human or animal they take active posture expectations – pull legs to cling to the future owners. Ticks do not jump from the trees – they just cling to the victim.
Talking about home ticks, they are integral part of house dust, on a par with its other components: dead skin cells of humans and animals, different fibers, cellulose (Library dust), fungal spores (mold and yeast), waste products of small insects. This organism lives in the same area with us more than one century. The main reason for their appearance in the house is dust. Where there is the dust – there are ticks.
Period of activity of the pests
Different types of ticks are active at different times. Their behavior has next features. The activity of forest ticks begins when the soil warms up to 5-7 degrees. When the temperature drops below 5 degrees ticks burrow into the leaves fall into a stupor and overwinter in this state.
The most optimal conditions for the activity of ticks are dry, bright and hot weather. In those days, even the weakest of them try to find and attack their victim, because they need to feed on blood in order to be capable of further reproduction.
In the passive state ticks are in autumn cold days, when there is rain. At such times, ticks are usually looking for a shelter to wait for more favorable conditions, the more that people in those days in the forest appear rare.
The activity of home ticks is quite high, round the clock they eat and do not leave their comfortable habitats -bed, pillow, mattress, bed linen.
Most of the ticks live about 2 years and feed on the blood of three different owners. All ticks have 4 stages of the life cycle: egg, larva, nymph and adult.
Female of forest tick lays eggs on the ground. Each female lays about 3,000 eggs. Then, depending on the humidity and temperature, from the eggs emerge larvae. Larvae look for animal – the first owner. Usually it is bird or a rodent. They feed on its blood a few days, and then fall back on the ground. There the larva goes into next stage, which is called a nymph. It becomes active and looks for the second owner – a rodent, pet or human to get drink blood. Then it falls on the ground and turns into adult. Adult females and males look for a third owner, feed on its blood and become sexually mature. The males die and the females hibernate and lay eggs in the spring, completing the cycle.
Home ticks have the same life cycle like the forest, but it is much shorter. Lifespan of home ticks is two or three months, the preferred temperature – 15-25 degrees, humidity – 55%.
Methods of dealing
The first and mandatory rule to combat against home ticks – you should always clean and well-ventilate the room in which you live. It is also recommended to completely abandon the feather pillows and blankets. Regularly dry mattress and bedding. You need to abandon from large amount of upholstered furniture, carpets, curtains massive, large stuffed toys in children’s rooms – in short, from everything that abundantly collects dust. You should periodically filter the air using special devices. Linens, blankets, pillows should be washed at 60 degrees or higher.
To get rid of ticks in the home, you have to follow a strategy that includes measures to address them, along with the preventive measures that will help avoid reinfection. These strategies include the use of chemicals, including aerosols against ticks and other insecticides.
Forest ticks are very difficult to control. If you have seen them on trees or bushes near the house, then you need to call special services.
Unfortunately, to prevent the appearance of home ticks – is unrealistic, at least because without the help of the microscope they are not seen. However, there are some simple guidelines. You can not destroy them completely, but to reduce significantly their number and make your life more comfortable is quite real:
- Ventilate the room every day
- Carry out regular wet cleaning
- Use a vacuum cleaner with aqua-filter
- Use the air cleaner
- Wash bedding at temperatures above 60 ° C, no less than once every two weeks
- Keep air humidity within the limits 35% – 55%
To protect against forest ticks and not to bring them into the house, you need to follow a few simple rules:
- Wear light colored clothing
- Wear long-sleeved clothing
- Use repellents for processing of clothing
- Beware of high grass and bushes.