Long grass is where these blood suckers lie in wait for passing dogs and cats to brush past to attach themselves.

Video: David Bellamy and Steve Leonard discuss ticks in detail, including their life cycle, the disease risks they pose, and how to safely remove ticks from your pet.

What do they look like and where do they live?

  • Ticks have eight legs rather than six, and their bodies are composed of only two sections
  • Ixodes ricinus is the most common tick in the UK and Ireland
  • They are generally found in rural areas

How can my pet contract ticks?

  • Ticks lie in wait in vegetation and attach to dogs or cats as they brush past

How will this parasite affect my pet?

  • Ticks have highly developed mouthparts, which allow them to pierce a hole through the skin and feed on blood
  • They can cause reactions at the site of attachment
  • Ticks may cause anaemia if there is a severe infestation in a young animal
  • The most important risk associated with ticks is the diseases they can transmit, e.g. Lyme Disease in the UK and Ireland
  • Diseases such as Babesiosis and Ehrlichioisis can be transmitted to pets travelling abroad, therefore regular tick treatment for travelling pets is important

Can this parasite affect my health?

  • Ticks can also attach themselves to humans
  • Ticks can transmit tick-borne diseases to humans