Ticks are perhaps one of the worst pests that affect our beloved pets, as they hide in hard to see places on the animal, burrow into their skin, and subsequently transmit serious diseases to your animal. The following article will provide you and your pet with some much needed preventative tips.
Firstly, some basic information about where ticks hide. Ticks are usually found in the tall grasses, wooded areas or weeds. They are also transmitted from some other vectors, such as deer or mice. Thus, common sense should be to avoid areas where ticks are drawn. You make sure you keep your grass moved and keep weeds cut. You should remove items from your property that attract deer or other rodents and clean up areas that attract rodents which can carry ticks (spilled birdseed, hiding place like old wood piles). You may want to use some special deer fencing to keep deer off your property.
As a pet owner, it may be harder for you to avoid tick prone areas because you need to take your dog out for a walk somewhere. That being said, as long as you take preventative measures before and after going out for the walk, you will most likely avoid ticks. As a owner, you should wear protective clothing (aka long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, boots, head covering) and use DEET on both your clothes and you exposed skin. Dogs and animals are extremely sensitive to DEET, so do not spray it on them. When going for the walk, try to walk in the middle of the trail away from the trees and the high side grass. You should check your pet every two-three hours for ticks because most ticks take four or more hours to attach and rarely spread the disease quickly. Therefore, if you find a tick crawling on the outside of your clothes or your animals fur, you can remove them with masking tape or cellophane tape. You can then throw the tape in the trash.
If you do see a tick, you can remove it by pulling it out with tweezers. Grasp the tick firmly and pull it straight out. Do not use bare hands as tick secretions can carry diseases. If you want to have the tick identified, put it in a small vial of alcohol. After removing the tick, wash the bite area and your hands thoroughly with soap and water and apply antiseptic to the bite. If you are unsure and do not want to attempt to remove the tick from yourself or your animal, contact your physician or animal as soon as possible.
Sometimes, even when you have thoroughly checked yourself and your pet after a walk, you miss the tick! Therefore, if you or your pet is experiencing an unexplained illness after being out in a tick prone area during tick season, you should contact either your physician or your veterinarian and tell them that you were outside where ticks were present.