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Tick Bites: Prevention & Cure


Tick is an example of ectoparasites—an organism that lives outside an animal’s body. The tick is the most common ectoparasite present in dogs and cats aside from fleas. There are different factors that affect the severity of tick assault on your fur babies. The environment, the season, the weather, and the habits have a direct impact on the occurrence of ticks on animals. 

Tick Attacks

According to experts, ticks are notorious winter pests. These creatures are typically outdoor pests because they can feed on other animals such as deer, cows, and birds. However, during winter, they look for a way to get indoors for warmth, shelter, and food. They may look thick and hard on the outside but these pests cannot thrive in cold temperatures.

It is usually easier to get rid of ticks during winter because they rely on humans and animals for warmth and nutrition. They can easily be found and they can easily be exterminated. However, during summer, ticks can be very unpredictable. Since there is an abundance of food and warmth, they can come and go as much as they want. A tick can latch onto your pet’s fur and eventually lay its eggs in one of your unused compartments. That could start a full-on infestation of ticks that can soon lead to disturbance and discomfort.

Pet activity also affects the severity and frequency of tick attacks. Ticks often hide on grasses and shrubs. When your pet often plays in these areas, it could pick up ticks and bring them home. Our fur babies can also catch ticks while playing with other animals infected with these parasites. When their furs get too close to one another, there is a great tendency that ticks might transfer onto your pet’s fur and lay its eggs. 

How Ticks Affect Pets

Ticks attach themselves to animals by inserting their mouthparts on the skin. Oftentimes, these parasites secrete glue-like substances that work as an adhesive and help them stay attached. When they have established a stable hold, they start to feed on your pet’s blood. If you observe constant scratching, licking, and red marks on your cat or dog, it may be a sign that it has ticks.

These parasites can consume enough of your pet’s blood to cause iron deficiency or anemia. Although these situations are rare, experts say that small breeds are more prone to anemia than large breeds because of their body size and lower blood volume. Other animals have also been reported to acquire temporary paralysis from tick bites. Entomologists claim that female ticks release some form of toxin while feeding that causes numbing on the bite area. If the problem is not eliminated, it could lead to paralysis.

Ticks are one of the most common sources of Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Symptoms of Lyme Disease include arthritis and swelling of your pet’s joints and muscles which causes lameness and inactivity. On the other hand, the symptoms of the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever include fever, lameness, loss of appetite, and other flu-like symptoms in animals.

Tick Prevention

To prevent any discomfort and illness from ticks, there are several ways to remember. These parasites can latch onto your pet’s fur easily. They can attach themselves to the skin during hikes, walks, jogs, and other outdoor activities. One way to prevent tick infestation is to apply anti-tick products and solutions on your pet’s fur. Ask your veterinarian for any recommendations in applying treatments and tick repellents. Make sure that the ingredients from the formula do not cause any allergic or adverse reactions to your pets.

If you have a garden that your pets love to play on, make sure to treat it regularly. You can use insecticides but make sure to follow the instructions and the recommendations from the manufacturer. See to it that none of you would smell any fumes from the product. You would not want to risk your health by inhaling harmful substances from the insecticide.

According to experts, landscaping is a wonderful tool to prevent pests from coming infesting your lawn. You can create or install a 3-foot buffer between your lawn and the woods. You can use mulches, wood chips, or gravel to help reduce the risk of tick infestation within your lawn. As we have discussed, ticks prey on different animals, including wild ones. Another way to prevent tick infestations is to prevent any wild animals from entering your yard. You could try installing a fence on your surroundings to help prevent wild animals from causing trouble at home. 

Tick Bite Treatments

No matter how small the bites of ticks are, it should not be taken for granted. The reddish marks on your pet’s skin could lead to infection and severe skin irritation. There are rare cases of untreated tick bites that cause immunodeficiency disorders that eventually lead to death.

When you find red marks on your pet’s skin, it’s best to use topical treatments. This formula can be purchased from your vet or your nearest pet store. You can also check online for these products and have it delivered right away. Typically, these topical treatments contain guava oil, neem oil, and tea tree oil that helps soothe the itch and the swelling. Plus, ticks hate the smell of these essential oils. It lessens the probability of their infestation.

Experts have also created oral treatments for tick infestation for pets. There are all-in-one products that work for deworming as well as repelling ticks from latching on to your pet’s skin. The tablet or the syrup, depending on the breed, age, and weight, facilitates the secretion of a certain odor or substance on your pet’s skin that repels ticks and fleas. Usually, the effect lasts for up to 1 to three months, depending on the product and dosage.

Furthermore, it is very important to regularly bathe your dog with soap or shampoo and water. To prevent tick infestations, use shampoos that contain medicated ingredients that kill ticks. Usually, manufacturers would instruct you to soak your pet for at least 10 to 15 minutes. This will ensure that no tick or flea will survive. Since ticks are more common in summer, it is advised to bathe your dog more often - probably once a week or twice a week, depending on the weather and your pet activity.

Check your dog’s fur regularly for any signs of ticks and bites. If ever you see one, DO NOT PULL IT OUT USING YOUR BARE HANDS. DO NOT CRUSH THE TICK WITH YOUR FINGERS! Use tweezers to remove it from your pet’s fur. As much as possible, use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull it slowly and steadily. Be careful not to jerk or twist the tick. When this happens, its mouth part could detach from its body and stay latched on to the skin. If you are unable to remove the mouth part stuck on the skin, clean the area and wait for it to heal. Use topical treatments to hasten its recovery.

Once you remove the tick from your pet’s skin, drown it with water and soap or rubbing alcohol. When you’re done clean your surroundings and wash your hands to avoid any chance of Lyme Disease transmission. There is growing advocacy for the use of tick collars against pests. Because of the growing number of deaths and illnesses caused by ticks, experts tried to create an easy fix for tick prevention. According to its manufacturers, the collar needs to be in contact with your pet’s skin so it can transfer the necessary substances for tick prevention. If you want to use dog collars, make sure that your dog is not allergic to the chemicals and ingredients found on the collar. It’s always best to consult your vet about your plan to use this collar to avoid allergies and other complications.

Just like bed bugs, ticks can hide on clothes, compartments, dark areas, unused spaces, boxes, and shoes. If you want to prevent any infestation, check these areas regularly. If you see signs of nymphs and small ticks crawling on the floor, it means that there are probably more of them inside your house brooding and reproducing.

According to experts, Permethrin is a wonderful tool to remove ticks from clothes and shoes. Look for any product that has 0.5% Permethrin as an ingredient and use it on your garments while washing them. Studies show that this substance can kill ticks in an instant including its eggs and nymphs. If you think that your tents and backpacks are infested, you can use permethrin as well. 

Call for Professional Help

Never hesitate to call for help especially when your health is on the line. If you are looking for a competent pest exterminator near Huntersville, NC, call Lake Norman Home Services. Experience top-quality service and extermination at a very affordable price. In just a blink of an eye, all your pest problems will be gone. What are you waiting for? Your peaceful life awaits you at Lake Norman Home Services.