Ticks aren’t just a summertime problem for pets anymore. It seems they’ve become a year-round problem, even in times of cooler weather. Ticks are parasitic arthropods that feed on the blood of their hosts. They are attracted to motion and warmth, making mammals a great host. Ticks typically hide out in tall grass and plants in wooded areas where they wait for a host to walk by. When they find a host, they will latch on with their mouthparts into the skin and start to feed. The tick will stay latched on until its meal is done. Ticks can feed for several hours to days.
Tick-Borne Diseases in Humans
Not all ticks carry disease, but the threat of disease is always present when ticks are involved. These risks should be taken seriously. Fortunately in Utah, there are very few confirmed cases of Lyme disease as ticks in the Rocky Mountain Region have not been found to carry it. However, our Western ticks can carry other harmful diseases, such as Colorado Tick Fever and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Tick-borne diseases can take several hours to transmit to a host, making early detection crucial. The risk of disease is lowered with early tick removal. Symptoms of tick-borne diseases usually include fever and lethargy. Some can cause lameness, weakness, joint swelling and/or anemia. These signs can take days, weeks or even months to appear.
How to Tell if Your Dog Has a Tick
Finding a tick on your pet can make your stomach turn. It will lead to worry and concern as to the danger it poses to your pet and your family. Finding a tick on your pet means they can make their way into our home. Ticks will attach themselves in areas with little hair-like around the ears and the areas where the legs meet the body, between the toes and inside skin folds. The number of ticks and how often you see ticks on your pets will depend on a few factors; where you live, the time of year, the habits of your pets and how you treat your pets for ticks. Ticks can infect both pets that spend lots of time outdoors and those that only spend small amounts of time outdoors.
How to Remove a Tick from a Child, Adult or Pet, etc
If you find a tick on yourself, a child or your pet, don’t panic but work quickly to remove it. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the surface of the skin as possible. Next, pull upward with even and steady pressure. Do not twist or jerk as this may break the mouth-part in the skin. Then you need to clean the area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. If symptoms develop after the tick has been removed, talk with your doctor.
Tick Prevention Tips
Check your pets for ticks when they come inside, more so if you live in wooded areas. If your pets are at a higher risk of ticks, then they should be treated with some form of tick prevention. There are many to choose from so talk with your veterinarian for the safest, most effective products available. Don’t make the mistake in thinking that using tick prevention means your pet is immune to getting them. It’s still important to check!
Ticks can be dangerous pests to deal with. Contact Rentokil for ways to keep them out of your home and yard.
How to Tick Proof Your Yard & Avoid Tick-Borne Diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Hyrum, UT in Salt Lake County and Northern Utah
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