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D2005-19

Dear Daisy Dog

Is it my imagination, or did the tick population suddenly explode? My dog is covered with them. Are fleas and ticks with us throughout the year, or are they seasonal?

Daisy Responds

While fleas and ticks can live indoors and out throughout the year, population increases do occur during certain seasons of the year.

In the middle Atlantic region, deer ticks “quest” during spring and fall. That means they climb as high as possible on blades of grass and brush, waiting to latch onto an animal – like your dog – walking by.

Ticks are attracted by the dog’s scent and exhaled carbon dioxide.

Another tick, the American dog tick, is at its worst during the summer.

In contrast to ticks, flea populations rise during the summer and peak at the end of summer and during the fall.

That’s because warmth and humidity encourage flea development.

So fleas and ticks are pests during the spring, summer and fall.

Fleas transmit disease less often than ticks, which are second only to mosquitoes in the enormity of infection they spread.

Ask your veterinarian about products that will prevent ticks and fleas from bothering your dog this season. My brothers and I are protected, and your dog should be, too.

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