The Truth About Those Tricky Ticks!

Now that we have let you in on all the flea fun, we thought it might be time to tackle those ticks! In the same way that people are often mistaken about flea facts, ticks can be tricky as well. So, here are some common misconceptions about ticks and the truth to help set them straight!

Myth: The best way to remove a tick is to touch it with a lit match, cover it with petroleum jelly or nail polish.

Truth: None of these old wives tales actually work to remove a tick. Actually they cause the tick to deposit more saliva into the wound therefore causing greater infection. The best way to remove a tick is to wear protective gloves, grasp the body of the tick as close to the skin as possible with tweezers and pull it out with a slow, smooth motion. Once the tick is removed, put it in an alcohol solution or flush it. Finally, clean the wound with soap, water and/or disinfectant.

Myth: I don’t need to worry about ticks during the winter months.

Truth: Though tick season is predominantly the months of April – November, they can be found in most states year round. Some are particularly hearty and can survive the cold, while other simply move indoors bringing them closer to you and your pets. Therefore, it is extremely important to use preventative on your pets year round.

Myth: Ticks are insects, so they cannot really be that harmful.

Truth: This statement is actually doubly false. Ticks are not insects. They are actually parasites that belong to the same family as mites. Ticks can cause all kinds of harmful diseases as well. From Lyme Disease, to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and many more, ticks are nothing to take lightly.

Myth: Ticks only live in trees or wooded areas, and since I don’t live by any wooded areas, I don’t need to worry.

Truth: Ticks can live on the ground in any location. They attach to a host from the grass and move their way up.

Myth: If I find a tick on a family member, or myself, we can rule out all tick borne illnesses with a blood test.

Truth:  The truth is, for you, your family and pets, it can sometimes be difficult to diagnosis certain illnesses resulting from ticks. Sometimes it takes a few weeks and multiple blood tests to get results that are positive for the illness. It can also be difficult to tell if you are ill because many people to not experience symptoms in the early stages. The best that you can do is to contact your family physician (for humans) or your veterinarian (for pets) and do repeated blood tests over a period of weeks.

As with anything in life, the key to dealing with ticks is prevention. If you are hiking with the family in an area with tall grasses, it is smart to wear long pants with high socks. Keeping your family pets on year round preventative can also stop the spread of diseases caused by ticks. The age-old saying truly holds up here… An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

By on May 7th, 2017 in Pet Care