Tick season is here, what does that mean for your pets?
The start of the warm season usually signals the appearance of more pests, large and small. In many areas, spring is often regarded as tick season since it is during this time that these bugs are more active and widespread.
Ticks look like spiders and typically feed on animals. However, humans are not safe from their bites. In California, the most problematic species of ticks include the Pacific Coast, the Rocky Mountain Wood, the American Dog, Western Black Legged, and Brown Dog ticks. These blood-sucking pests are often found hiding in tree trunks, fallen logs, wooden benches, and in leaf litters and they will easily attach to nearby people and pets.
The Dangers That Ticks Bring
Although minute, ticks bring and spread a variety of illnesses, with Lyme disease as the most well-known. Early symptoms of Lyme disease include a circular, expanding rash at the area of the bite and flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, headaches, fatigue, joint pain, and muscle aches. If not treated immediately, the disease and symptoms may spread to other parts of the body including the joints, heart, and nervous system. Additional rashes may also appear. If the disease progresses, the patient will experience intermittent periods of pain and weakness in the arms or legs, facial muscle paralysis or Bell’s palsy, headaches, some loss of control of facial muscles, and other severe symptoms and medical issues.
Ticks can also transmit spotted fever, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and ehrlichiosis.
Safety Precautions Against Ticks
To avoid being bitten by ticks when going outdoors, particularly in parks or in the woods, experts recommend wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts or tops. Apply an insect repellent lotion or spray which contains DEET since this is a substance that ticks detest. When walking, with or without your pet, always stay in the middle of the trail and do not go near logs, tree trunks, trail margins, brush, and grassy areas. After your walk, inspect yourself and your pet for ticks. Pay particular attention to your scalp and hairline. To be safe, take a shower and launder the clothes you wore after your walk or time outdoors. Give your pet a bath, too.
If you spot a tick attached to your skin or your pet, remove it as soon as possible. Use fine-pointed tweezers or a tick tool to remove it gently since you want the bug alive. If you squish the tick, it will squirt their gut (which is what carries infection) and enable it to spread to your skin. Keep the tick alive and secure by placing it into a sealable bag or container with a moist cotton ball in a refrigerator or cooler for identification, in case you want or need to consult a medical professional.
To effectively and safely deal with a tick infestation in or near your property, get in touch with a local Modesto pest control company.