Ticks can infest people and pets in the Anza Valley

Dogs with dense coats are susceptible to tick infestations that may go unnoticed. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
Ticks are blood-eating parasites that live and feed on mammals like deer, dogs, cats, cattle, goats, sheep and horses. They even prey on birds, rodents, reptiles and humans. These pests are common in the Anza Valley.California is home to 48 different tick varieties, with the western blacklegged tick being the most common and abundant.Adult ticks seek hosts from November until April or May. Tick activity is highest when humidity is high and temperatures are cool.Ticks break the skin of their host to feed on their blood. Their mouthparts have backward facing projections, making them hard to remove once they have attached to the skin.These parasites crawl up brush, shrubs or grass, and wait with their front legs extended, looking to hitch a ride on a passing host. They do not
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