Are You Battling Ticks?
With the warmer months upon us, ticks will start to reappear. Whether you have pets or intend to spend time outdoors it is important that home owners are aware of what to look for and how to battle ticks.
In areas where ticks are common it is vital you learn how to perform tick checks on yourself, your family members and your pets as ticks bite and can transmit tick born illnesses such as Lyme disease.
How To Avoid Ticks
- Stay out of weedy, tick-infested areas.
- Make frequent personal inspections.
- Examine children at least twice daily. Pay special attention to the head and neck.
- Check clothing for crawling ticks.
- Keep dogs tied or penned in a mowed area as they may bring ticks into the home or yard. Check them daily. If ticks are found, follow tick removal instructions.
- If exposure to a tick-infested area is unavoidable, tuck pant cuffs into socks or boots. Wearing light-coloured clothing makes it easier to find crawling ticks.
How To Inspect Yourself For Ticks
- Remove your clothing and place it in the bathtub so that if any ticks have attached to your clothing they cannot escape.
- Run your fingers through your hair over your scalp to feel for any lumps
- Use a fine tooth comb if you have long hair
- Using a full length mirror or a hand held mirror inspect your entire body for any black spots that could be ticks. Shake out your clothing over the bathtub to be sure there are not ticks latched on.
- Wash clothes into the washing machine to kill off any ticks that may have been hiding.
How To Check Animals For Ticks
- Gently feel your pets skin, going against the fur.
- Look inside the lips, nose cavity, ears, corner of the eyes, between the toes and under the arms, legs and tail.
- If you find a tick, don’t stop searching as animals usually have more than one tick
If you pet has been exposed to ticks and experiences any of the following symptoms, get them to a vet as soon as possible
- If there is a change in their bark or meow
- If their breathing becomes laboured
- If they start to cough
- If there is excessive salivation
- If they are vomiting
- If you see weakness in the hind legs,
- If they are reluctant to get up or walk.
- If a tick should become attached to you or your pet, remove it as soon as possible.
- Shield your fingers with a paper towel, use tweezers or wear rubber gloves. Grasp the tick close to the skin, and with steady pressure, pull straight out.
- Do not twist or jerk the tick, as mouthparts may be left in the skin. Take care not to crush or puncture the tick during removal.
- Use of a hot match or cigarette to remove a tick is NOT recommended as this may cause the tick to burst. Spotted fever may be acquired from infected tick body fluids that come in contact with broken skin, the mouth, or eyes.
- Avoid touching ticks with bare hands. Tick secretions can be infectious. Spotted fever can be acquired through self-inoculation into a small scratch or cut.
- After removing a tick, thoroughly disinfect the bite site and wash hands with soap and water.
- Ticks can be safely disposed of by placing them in a container of oil or alcohol, sticking them to tape, or flushing them in the toilet.
You should not have to stop or reduce summer outdoor activities out of fear of a tick bite. Just remember that ticks could be around and to take precautions. For your pets speak to your vet about a good tick treatment.
If you know your yard is at risk of ticks do not delay give Sydneys best pest control a call to discuss and organise a treatment.