Tick season and the ways to combat it


It is really starting to feel like summer and that means animals and their owners will be spending plenty of time outside enjoying plenty of activities and fresh air.

However, the hot temperatures also means that it is tick season, and there are several things a pet owner should know and be aware of when it comes to ticks.

One of the first steps is to check one’s pet for ticks daily but this is even more necessary after they have spent hours of time outside.

According to the CDC, routine checks are crucial and if a tick is found the best thing to do is to remove it quickly.

The CDC recommends using a clean and fine-tipped pair of tweezers to help grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.

Once the tick is grabbed, pull it upward with steady and even pressure. It is important to remember not to twist or jerk the tick because if done to violently it can cause its mouth parts to break off and remain in the skin even if the body was removed.

If that does occur, the best approach is to not panic, because the mouth part can still be removed just as effectively with the tweezers.

After it is removed, the CDC suggests cleaning the bite area and one’s hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water and then giving the bitten skin a break to give it the proper time to heal.

The CDC advises never to crush the tick with one’s fingers once removed but instead dispose of the tick by putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag or container, wrapping it tightly in tape or flushing it down the toilet.

There are many folklore remedies that have been created over the years that supposedly work for detaching ticks from the skin, such as painting it with nail polish or petroleum jelly or using various forms of heat.

However, the CDC advises against using these alternative methods because they may take longer for it to detach, and the goal should always be to remove the tick from the skin as quickly as possible.

For those who choose to try and avoid the situation all together, there are ways to try to prevent ticks from populating a yard, including using certain pesticides that can reduce the number in a treated area.

Yard maintenance can also go a long way in reducing the number of ticks in a yard, such as reducing the number of leaves on a property and by clearing tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edge of lawns.

This can be achieved by mowing the yard frequently and placing a three-foot wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas to help restrict tick migration into recreational areas.

Putting up fences is another preventative measure by helping keep out animals such as deer, raccoons and stray dogs from one’s property which are more likely to carry ticks on them.