Why ticks are so dangerous to humans and pets — Natalia’s student essay

Why Ticks Are So Dangerous To Humans And Pets?

There are an endless amount of worries a pet owner faces and one of the most dangerous threats a pet can face are ticks. A tick is an ectoparasite which means that they live on the outside of pets. They are extremely durable which equates to them being awfully difficult to exterminate. Furthermore, they are not only strenuous to kill, but are difficult to remove.

When ticks attach themselves to a human or pet, they produce a sticky substance that allows them to stay latched. Due to this substance, it is recommend to remove them with tweezers as it may present a problem to remove them with your hands. Although ticks attach themselves to pets, they can be transferred to humans as well without even knowing.

It is not uncommon for them to go unnoticed for days possibly weeks. One of the main contributors to them being overlooked is due to the fact that many pets sleep in their owners beds. Seeing that the pet is sleeping in the same room as the owner, the tick could detach itself from the pet and stick to the human. Since this process takes place when a person is sleeping, they are unaware that a tick is on them. They are also easier to spot on short haired animals because they are visible to the eye which is why they are more dangerous to pets with a large amount of fur.

Close-up of Tick attached next to an Australian Shepherd's eye

Once a tick has latched itself onto a pet they begin to feed on the animals blood which could lead to many negative side effects. While it is rare, a female tick can cause tick paralysis on a pet because of a toxin they release while feeding. Another reason they are dangerous to pets is because if they consume enough of your pets blood it could cause anemia.

tick crawling on human hand

One of the most common diseases associated with ticks is Lyme disease. Lyme disease can cause arthritis in pets which can be incredibly uncomfortable to them as it results in their joints swelling. This particular disease can be dangerous to pets because if it goes undetected it could be fatal. These diseases can be transmitted to humans as well which is a reason why ticks are so dangerous to humans and pets. 

In my personal experience, my dog who has long hair, gets ticks often especially during the summer. Since my dog has black hair it is even more difficult to locate any ticks that may have attached themselves to him. Every time my dog comes back from a walk I have to comb through his hair and look at his ears to make sure that he does not have any ticks. There have been times where I would find a tick around the house or even in my bed. It creates paranoia as well because you are constantly checking yourself to ensure that you do not have a tick. There are countless of other diseases that can be passed from a tick to a pet or a human which is one of the leading reasons as to why such a tiny arachnid could potentially be fatal.

Author: Natalia Roman

Florida Atlantic University

Student Scholarships

Every year Thrive Pest Control hosts an essay contest and the reward is a 1-year scholarship at a 4-year university in the United States. This blog post is one of those scholarships.