Are You Ticked Off about Ticks?

Deer Tick

Are You Ticked Off about Ticks?

Life Cycle of Deer Ticks in the northeast/mid-Atlantic/upper mid-western United States.

Larval deer ticks are active in August and September but these ticks are pathogen-free. Ticks become infected with pathogens when larvae (or nymphs) take a blood meal from infectious animal hosts. Engorged larvae molt over winter and emerge in May as poppy-seed sized nymphal deer ticks. Please note that most cases of Lyme disease are transmitted from May through July, when nymphal-stage ticks are active. Adult-stage deer ticks become active in October and remain active throughout the winter whenever the ground is not frozen. Blood-engorged females survive the winter in the forest leaf litter and begin laying their 1,500 or more eggs around Memorial Day (late May). These eggs hatch in July, and the life-cycle starts again when larvae become active in August.

Click on a tick row to view larger images and more information about tick species.

Deer ticks, ixodes scapularis
Deer ticks, Ixodes scapularis
Dog ticks, Dermacentor variabilis
LoneStar ticks, Amblyomma americanum
Brown Dog ticks, Rhipicephalus sanguineus
Western-Blacklegged ticks, Ixodes pacificus
Rocky Mts Wood Tick, Dermacentor andersoni

What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is transmitted from infected ticks to dogs/cats/people through a tick bite.  Any time a tick attaches to your animal or yourself, there is a risk of Lyme disease being contracted.  If an uninfected tick bites an infected dog and then, later, an uninfected dog, Lyme disease will be spread. 

Early symptoms of Lyme disease include lameness, fever, lethargy, and lack of appetite.  If you are fortunate, these symptoms will occur and treatment will be started early.  However, Lyme disease can by asymptomatic, in other words no symptoms will occur.  As such, the earliest symptom may be renal (kidney) failure.  Renal failure is difficult to treat and often fatal if not caught early. 

Dogs should be tested using some form of heartworm/lyme combo blood test at least once a year.  Doing so ensures that if a dog does contract Lyme disease and is asymptomatic, the disease may be caught early enough to prevent renal failure and other serious symptoms.  This test can and should be done during the yearly exam and vaccination booster at the veterinarian.  Certain blood tests (the most common being the Idexx snap test) will give results nearly immediately.

Treatment for Lyme disease is a course of an antibiotic known as doxycycline the dosage of which is about 2-5 mg per 1 pound of body weight.  This antibiotic can cause very severe side effects including severe stomach upset and nausea.

Lyme and Tick Prevention

Due to the possible side effects of the antibiotic and the debilitating nature of the disease, vaccination for Lyme is heavily recommended, particularly in dogs that are outside in tall grass or in the woods commonly.  This vaccination should prevent your dog from contacting Lyme disease.  The first given vaccination requires a booster three to four weeks after the vaccination is administered and then the vaccination is required once yearly.  If the vaccination is not administered every year, the booster will have to be repeated. 

Vaccinations, however, are not 100% effective.  This is true of every vaccination on the market.  As such, a year round flea and tick preventative is recommended.  This is especially true of the Northeastern Coast where Lyme disease is considered endemic.  Within Pennsylvania, Western PA and Pittsburgh and the surrounding area are considered hotbeds of Lyme disease and year round preventative is crucial.  A tick that cannot attach cannot spread Lyme disease. Preventing tick bites is the first line of defense for keeping your pets safe.

The AVMA (American Veterinary Medicine Association) recommends several methods of prevention.  Certain flea and tick products cannot be given to animals under a certain weight or age.  Your veterinarian can make appropriate recommendations regarding which flea and tick product is best for your animal.  There are many different products on the market today that protect your pets from tick-transmitted diseases. The most popular tick bite prevention products are topical sprays and spot-ons. Correctly and timely applied to your pets skin, these products can greatly reduce the chances of tick bites.

Commonly recommended monthly preventatives are Frontline Plus, Nexgard, Advantage II, or Advantix II.  Nexgard is a chewable tablet. Frontline Plus, Advantage II, and Advantix II are topical ointments placed at the nape of the neck.  There is also a highly effective flea and tick collar (Seresto collars) which lasts eight months.  All of these will prevent ticks from attaching and thus spreading Lyme.  Products that kill on contact will keep your pet from bringing in ticks that may pose a risk to you or your family members.

Merial Whole body protection Kills Ticks Displays tick repellency activity Kills Fleas Water Resistant Safe for cats Safe for dog/cat households
NEXGARD for dogs
NEXGARD website
X X   X X   X
K9 Advantix II
Permethrin* /Imidacloprid*
K9 Advantix II website
X X X X X   X
Frontline Plus
Fipronil* / Methoprene* website
X X   X X X X
Advantage II
Advantage II website: dogs | cats
X     X X X X
Seresto Collar
Flumethrin*/ Imidacloprid
Seresto website
Preventic Collar
Amatraz* website
  X     X    

Protection Tip: Groom your pets

Grooming pets after a walk outside through the woods or trails can help protect your pet and family. Dogs and cats typically encounter many more ticks than people do. Because they have thick fur, ticks may take a while before biting a dog or cat. If your dog or cat comes into the house before the tick is attached, their ticks may latch onto you or other family members.

How To Remove Ticks Using Ticked Off Tick Remover

On People


On Animals


May be used in any direction to remove ticks, from front, back or side.

(Note the different direction in photos)

Once the tick has been isolated, is clearly visible and free from obstruction, place the wide part of the notch on the skin near the tick (hold skin taut if necessary). Applying slight pressure downward on the skin, slide the remover forward so the small part of the notch is framing the tick.

Continuous forward sliding motion detaches the tick.

(Do not pry, lever or lift up.)

The tick is now completely removed for disposal (or may be saved for testing).

Treat the wound as needed.

Clean your tick remover with alcohol or similar disinfectant.

For adult and adult supervised use; not a toy

The products below are carried at and recommended by Misty Pines.

[su_tabs vertical=”yes”]
[su_tab title=”Seresto Collar”]

Seresto® for dogs Voted Best New Flea & Tick Control

See for yourself what Seresto® has to offer, and why dog owners like you choose this easy-to-use collar to help protect their dogs against fleas and ticks.

  • No need to remember to apply monthly
  • KILLS fleas
  • REPELS and KILLS ticks
  • If a tick is repelled or killed, it cannot attach to your dog and transmit organisms that may cause disease.

Seresto Collar for Small dogs = $64.99
Seresto Collar for Large dogs = $69.99

[su_tab title=”Ticked Off Tick Remover”]

Ticked Off Tick Remover

    • The ticked off tick remover is safe, effective and easy-to-use
    • A specially designed notch grabs the tick at skin level and removes it completely in one motion
    • Bowl-shaped end securely contains the tick for easy disposal
    • Helps reduce risk of disease; veterinarian and physician endorsed
    • Measures 6-inch length by 4-inch width by 1-inch height; available in white color

[su_tab title=”BioGroom”]


Bio-Groom’s Repel-35 is useful to control fleas & ticks. Made with Lanolin and Aloe in a water based formula, the ability to control these pests for 35 days enhances your pets health and happiness, when used according to label instructions.

16 oz. = $11.99

Active Ingredient
*Permethrin 0.50%

Inert Ingredients 99.50%
*(3- phenoxyphenyl) methyl (+/-) cis/ trans 3- (2,2- dichloroethenyl) 2,2 – dimethylcyclopropanecarboxylate. Cis/ trans ratio: min. 35%(+/-) cis and max. 65% (+/-) trans.

[su_tab title=”Adam’s Flea and Tick Spray”]

Adams™ Flea & Tick Spray

Adams Plus Flea & Tick Spray provides quick relief from biting fleas and continuous killing of flea eggs laid on the animal, breaking the flea life cycle. The elimination of both adult fleas and flea eggs is important because adult fleas live on your pet, causing discomfort and skin irritation, while the vast number of eggs they lay fall off and develop in your house.

    Key Benefits

  • Kills adult fleas, flea eggs, flea larvae, ticks and repels mosquitoes
  • Breaks flea life cycle for up to 2 months
  • Continuous protection against pests
  • May need to use a house treatment, if not caught early enough
  • Provides instant relief from biting fleas

16oz = $14.99
[su_tab title=”K9 Advantix II”]

K9 Advantix II

K9 Advantix II is a once-a-month topical application for dogs and puppies that REPELS and kills ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes. K9 Advantix II contains imidacloprid, permethrin and pyriproxyfen that work in concert to REPEL and kill parasites that can potentially transmit disease-causing organisms.

    Key Benefits

  • REPELS and kills ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes. REPELS biting flies and kills lice, too
  • Kills ALL life stages of fleas and prevents development of fleas, flea eggs, larvae, and pupae
  • Prevents fleas on a treated dog from reinfesting the home
  • Kills fleas within 12 hours, and kills reinfesting fleas within 2 hours
  • Waterproof

K9 Advantix II is indicated for the prevention and treatment of ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, biting flies and lice on dogs and puppies 7 weeks of age or older.
K9 Advantix II is available in 4 weight-bands that correspond with the body weight of the dog. Each weight band is available in packs of 4 or 6 applicator tubes.

Dog Weight K9 Advantix® II Volume Availability Price
10 lbs. and under small dog 0.4 mL 4-packs ?
11-20 lbs. medium dog 1.0 mL 4-packs $57.99
21-55 lbs. large dog 2.5 mL 4-packs/6-packs $61.99/$92.99
Over 55 lbs. extra large dog 4.0 mL 4-packs $92.99

[su_tab title=”K9 Advantage II”]

K9 Advantage II

Advantage II contains an adulticide (imidacloprid) and an insect growth regulator (pyriproxyfen) to kill all life stages of fleas. Furthermore, it kills fleas through contact, so they don’t have to bite your dog to die. One convenient application of Advantage II keeps working for one month.
Target Parasites
Adult fleas, flea larvae, flea eggs, lice

    Key Benefits

  • Kills all flea life stages
  • Prevents fleas on a treated dog from infesting your home
  • Kills fleas within 12 hours of initial application
  • Kills reinfesting fleas within 2 hours
  • Works through contact, so fleas don’t have to bite to die
  • Waterproof
Dog Weight K9 Advantix® II Availability Price
10 lbs. and under small dog 4-packs $55.99
11-20 lbs. medium dog 4-packs $57.99
21-55 lbs. large dog 4-packs $61.99
Over 55 lbs. extra large dog 4-packs $92.99
Cats cat 4-packs $55.99

[su_tab title=”Frontline Plus”]

Frontline Plus

What is Frontline Plus?
Frontline Plus is a monthly topical flea and tick preventative for dogs and cats. Frontline Plus kills 100% of adult fleas on your pet within 12 hours and 100% of all ticks and chewing lice within 48 hours. Frontline Plus contains an insect growth regulator, S-methoprene, which kills flea eggs and larvae. It’s effective against all stages of the brown dog tick, the American dog tick, the lone star tick and the deer tick (the major carrier of Lyme disease). (3 Pack = 3 doses which lasts 3 months.)
Cats/Kittens and Dogs/Puppies (8 weeks of age and older)

    Key Benefits

  • Kills all existing fleas on your pet within 12 hours
  • Each application provides a full month of protection
  • Also aids in the control of sarcoptic mange infections in dogs
  • Great for pets that swim since it’s waterproof
  • Kills ticks and chewing lice

How it Works:
Frontline Plus contains fipronil, a broad-spectrum insecticide and slow-acting poison that disrupts the central nervous system of fleas and ticks and S-Methoprene, an insect growth regulator that kills flea eggs and larvae. The active ingredients are stored in the sebaceous glands and are wicked out of the hair follicles and continuously re-applied to the coat for long-lasting, waterproof protection.

Dog Weight K9 Advantix® II Availability Price
Cats cats 4-packs $55.99
0-22 lbs. medium dog 4-packs $55.99
45-88 lbs. large dog 4-packs $61.99
89-132 lbs. extra large dog 4-packs $92.99

[su_tab title=”Tick Key”]

Tick Key

Place the key over the tick in the slot. Pull key away from tick sliding along the skin. The Tick is removed easily, head and all!

This design has been perfected and tested for over eight years and is responsible for the removal of thousands of ticks of all sizes including deer ticks and dog ticks.

TickKey is fabricated from high-strength anodized aluminum.

TickKey is currently available in our 6 original metallic colors; Green, Blue, Orange, Purple, Red, Pewter & we have multiple new colors that vary.

TickKey is flat and is easily stored in a wallet, pocket, on a key chain, collar, saddle, or leash.


Sources: of the University of Rhode Island



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