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Caution … It’s Tick Season!

It’s that time of year again, summer is upon us and that means tick season is in full swing. Ticks can carry dangerous diseases that can seriously harm you, your family and your pets. Knowing how to properly remove ticks, and the signs and symptoms of infection, can help prevent serious and life threatening illnesses. Below is a factual list of how ticks attach to you and your pets, how to check for and remove ticks, and what to look for if you have been bitten.

  • Ticks are parasites that feed on the blood of host animals and humans. There are hundreds of tick species but only a handful can transmit diseases to humans. In the US the most common ticks to transmit diseases are: Deer Ticks (west   or east  ), Lone Star Ticks  , and the Dog Tick  .
  • Ticks do not jump or fly. Instead they typically will transfer to their “host” by waiting on tall grass and then crawling aboard when the host brushes past them.
  • Ticks are most active in the summer months and become dormant during the cold winter months.
  • The deer tick is the #1 tick that causes Lyme Disease   within the US. Like most ticks, the deer tick likes to hang out in tall grass close to the edge of a field where deer will most likely be. If you are out in an area where deer frequent, chances are you have come across the deer tick.
  • Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted fever  , and Alpha-Gal are the most common and severe diseases you can contract when bitten by a tick.
  • Alpha-Gal   will make you severely allergic to red meat and only affects humans, not dogs or cats, while Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever gets in to your blood, presents flu like symptoms and can be fatal if not treated.
  • It’s important to make sure that if you are in a wooded or grassy area, hiking or camping that you check yourself for ticks every 2–3 hours; particularly your scalp, belly button, armpits, ears, back of the knees, and between your legs.
  • It is crucial to be very careful when removing ticks from yourself, family members or animals. Rupturing the ticks body after it has been engorged with blood can still transmit disease.
  • If you do a search you can find numerous DIY ways to remove a tick, but the safest and most effective way is with tweezers.
  • To remove a tick you want to make sure that you have a good grasp on the head. Never twist or try to wiggle the tick out because its head could get stuck in your body. You want to pull straight up and once the tick is out make sure to dispose of it properly by wrapping it in tape, putting it in a plastic bag and throwing away or flushing it down the toilet. Reference  
  • Remember: Ticks can be very small. So if you notice a new freckle on your arm or you feel a new “lump” on your dog after a camping trip or hiking adventure, make sure to give it a second glance just to make sure that it’s not a tick.
  • If you do live in an area where ticks are abundant in the summer, you can try using an all natural insecticide and insect repellent to make sure that you and your family are protected at all times.
  • The CDC provides a guide   that helps with identifying ticks and their various locations.

We encourage you to get out and enjoy everything the summer season has to offer, but want to make sure that you and your family (fur babies included) are adequately prepared and protected when outdoors.

Have a happy and safe Summer!

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