The Dangers of Ticks and Why It's Important to Check for Ticks Regularly
The thought of finding a tick attached to your loved one, pet, or yourself is unnerving. With so much going on in the world today, thinking about ticks seems far down on the priority list. However, don’t underestimate the danger ticks can bring. They carry a variety of serious diseases, and their ill effects can be debilitating and lifelong. Protect yourself and your family by learning about the importance of checking for ticks.
Why Are Ticks Dangerous?
The following two conditions have been linked to tick bites for years. Many have suffered and even lost their lives due to these hazards:
- Lyme disease is an inflammatory condition that initially causes flu-like symptoms of chills, fever, and headaches. The more severe effects manifest themselves years later, including arthritic, neurological, and cardiac disorders. These effects have all been traced back to the microscopic bacteria carried by ticks. In extreme cases, the damage can be fatal.
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a bacterial infection brought on by ticks. Early symptoms include body aches, high fevers, and severe headaches accompanied by periods of confusion. This disease’s distinctive characteristic is the onset of a prominent, non-itchy rash located around the wrists and ankles. If you or your loved one experience any of these symptoms, seek emergency care immediately. The infection can lead to serious damage to the heart and kidneys and even death.
Developing New Threats From Ticks
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a report in 2019 that revealed more concerning information about the widespread dangers of tick bites than previously known:
- Newly-discovered germs carried by ticks are increasing at alarming rates. Over the past two decades, seven new tick-borne germs have been found in the United States alone.
- Ticks are spreading to new areas of the United States and the rest of the world. Areas that never previously reported an invasion of ticks are now dealing with their dangerous presence. This spread causes the need for increased surveillance on everyone’s part.
- A novel tick species has recently been identified and is being studied for any bacteria this new species transmits.
Tick Prevention 101
Keeping your pets away from fleas and ticks can be difficult, especially if you live in a heavily wooded area. Thankfully, there are some preventative methods you can use to keep your pets safe.
Use Veterinary Approved Products
The best way to prevent fleas and ticks from harming your pets is to choose vet-approved products to use at home. Talk to your vet and choose some topical treatments, collars or shampoos to use on a regular basis. Dogs are commonly susceptible to fleas and ticks because they tend to go outside more than cats and other pets. Bathing your dog in flea and tick shampoo and using a flea and tick collar are great ways to prevent these pests from getting onto your dog in the first place.
Regularly Check Pet Fur
The quicker you remove a tick, the less likely your pet will contract an illness related to a tick bite. Feel through your pet’s fur thoroughly after a walk to ensure there are no ticks. You should also learn the proper way to remove a tick so that way you won’t worsen the problem. It’s best to use tweezers to remove a tick by the head. If you use your fingers, part of the tick could still be on your pet, which could lead to infection.
Look for fleas on areas of your pet where the fur is sparse or thin, like the inner sides of the hind limbs. Fleas are tiny and copper-colored, and they move quickly on your pet’s skin. You may also be able to see “flea dirt” or feces, which are tiny dark spots that turn red from digested blood when put on a wet paper towel.
Keep Your Yard Neat
If your pets are constantly playing in your yard, make an effort to keep the grass neat and as short as possible. Both fleas and ticks are attracted to tall, moist, grassy areas with debris. A clean yard is a pest-free yard.
Contact Alvin Pest Control Today!
At Alvin Pest Control, we know how to get rid of the toughest pests. We specialize in residential services, commercial services, and termite control. Our experienced pest professionals have 48 years of experience and provide the best possible service. If you have a pest problem, give us a call at 888-680-7198. We look forward to working with you.
It is time to take the threat of ticks seriously. Invest in your family’s safety by allowing our team of professionals to partner with you in tick detection and elimination. Contact Alvin’s Pest Control to make an appointment today.