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lyme ticks

This photo (click to enlarge) shows the AMERICAN DOG TICK (Dermacenter variablis) male and female on the left edge of a postage stamp.  Four Black-legged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) are on the right edge of the stamp.  There is a female (largest tick) and male and two nymphal stages of the Black-legged tick.

itch tick

Attached Tick


Mouthpart of Adult Tick

Mouthparts of Tick



Adult Female Deer  Tick





461 Patriots Road, Rte 2A

Templeton Common

Templeton, Ma 01468 Telephone: 978.939.9348
FAX: 978.939.2048



All About Ticks



Ticks are a common parasite of both dogs and people. Tick species are found worldwide and may infest dogs in very large numbers, especially during certain times of the year. Ticks as well as fleas and mosquitoes act as vectors of disease. Three stages of the tick (larvae, nymph and adult) parasitize animals and humans. Ticks may carry Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, several types of ehrlichiosis, and other potentially deadly diseases. Prevalence of these diseases may be quite high in certain regions, making tick control a definite medical  concern for veterinarians and dog owners.   

Tick-borne Diseases: Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, tularemia      


Risk for biting ticks is increased if:


  •    Tick-borne diseases have been diagnosed in your region.
  •    You take your dog camping, hiking or hunting where ticks are found.
  •    You have removed a tick from your dog in the last few months.
  •    Your dog is exposed to wildlife that are tick hosts (deer, rodents, raccoons, etc.).
  •    Your yard has dense shrubs, tall grass or leaf litter — common tick habitats.
  •    You take your dog to wooded areas or grassy meadows.


The Best Way to Remove a Tick  


The possibility of tick-borne illnesses including lymes, gives a sense of urgency to this topic. We are commonly asked about the best method for getting ticks off our kids (and animals). We hear of many methods: applying rubbing alcohol, smothering with Vaseline, painting with fingernail polish, twisting clockwise (or counterclockwise), and touching with a hot match. Though these methods are popular, they are not the best. Use tweezers to grasp the tick as near to the mouthparts (and as close to the skin) as possible. Use gentle, steady, straight force to pull the tick out. The site should then be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected with alcohol or another disinfectant.

The tick can be killed by soaking in rubbing alcohol or flushing down the toilet (it should not be crushed or squeezed).


Hands should be washed afterwards.  Prompt and complete removal of ticks does help prevent illness. This is a situation where the folk remedies can do more harm than good.