Why Protecting Pets from Ticks in Fall is So Important
Over the past couple of decades, there has been a sharp increase in tick populations and the transmission of tick-borne illnesses. Ticks seem to be popping up all over the country and the dangers they pose to humans cannot be understated.
However, were you also aware of the risks that ticks pose to your pets? It’s not only humans who can contract diseases through the bite of a tick; your furry friends are also at risk.
Different species of ticks transmit different diseases, but almost all of the illnesses humans can get, pets can get too. They include:
- Lyme Disease - Just like humans, dogs and cats can contract Lyme disease from an infected tick. Symptoms may not show up for months though, making it difficult to treat early and effectively.
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever - This illness typically causes symptoms for about two weeks, but can be severe enough to cause death.
- Babesiosis - This can cause anemia among other problems.
- Anaplasmosis - Symptoms are similar to other tick-borne illnesses, including fever, joint stiffness, lack of appetite, and vomiting.
- Ehrlichiosis - One of the most dangerous tick-borne illness, this can take several months to show symptoms.
The best way to help your pets avoid a tick-borne illness is to prevent their contact with ticks. But how do you do this? While it’s impossible to completely eliminate the possibility of your pets coming into contact with ticks, there are ways to reduce the likelihood.
- Keep up to date on tick treatments for your pets. This is a simple and effective way to prevent ticks from feeding on your pet.
- Keep your lawn maintained. Ticks prefer long grasses and wooded areas, so keeping your grass trimmed and removing debris will help prevent ticks from being on your lawn.
- Keep your pet out of the woods. Consider erecting a fence around the perimeter of your yard to keep your pet in the well-groomed portion of your property.
- Keep wildlife off your lawn. You can’t prevent this entirely, but you can take steps to make your yard less inviting. Keep garbage in tightly covered bins. Don’t leave pet food outside. Seal up any cracks, gaps, and holes in your home that might allow for easy access into your home.
- Check your pet after it has been outdoors. While some ticks are so small, you might miss them, especially in a thick fur coat, if your pet has spent time outside, it’s a good idea to look them over and run your hands over their fur in the wrong direction to see if any ticks have climbed on board. If you find one crawling on your pet, pull it off and get rid of it. If you find one attached, remove it with tweezers, grasping it as close to your pet’s skin as possible and gently pulling it out with even pressure. Do not twist as you pull.
If you think you have a lot of ticks on your lawn or in the surrounding wooded area, it’s a good idea to get a professional pest control company to help you contain the problem.
Schendel Pest Services offers tick control services that can safely and effectively treat for ticks on your property. While we can’t eliminate ticks entirely, we can reduce their population and give you peace of mind when you step outside your home to spend time in your yard. Contact us for a free inspection.