Keeping Pets Safe from Blacklegged Deer Ticks and Lyme Disease
September 12, 2018
Blacklegged deer ticks are very pervasive pests and are also the biggest threat when it comes to transmitting Lyme disease. However, humans are not the only ones at risk. Our pets are just as much at risk of contracting Lyme disease as we are, and maybe even more so as ticks are harder to detect and remove when hidden under their fur. Due to the fact that both ticks and tick bites are harder to see on our pets, they can often have tick bites for long periods of time without their owners' knowledge, thus compounding the illness.
In the last decade, Lyme disease has become more and more common. In fact, this infectious tick-borne disease plagues people and pets all over the United States. Many times people and pets who contract this disease do not develop symptoms quickly, making it hard to diagnose. The symptoms of this disease usually include muscle and joint pain, fever, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes. Lyme disease can sometimes take months to be diagnosed, but if it’s caught early enough, this disease can usually be treated with antibiotic treatments in both humans and pets.
Ticks are hearty pests that typically travel on deer from place to place, which is why they were coined “deer” ticks. They can withstand very hot and cold temperatures and even frost! Though these pests commonly travel on deer, they will hitch a ride on any animal that passes by including wildlife animals, rodents, birds, and even reptiles. These parasitic pests will also hitch a ride on humans and pets. Ticks need a blood meal to survive, so it is convenient for them to crawl onto a host and remain there for as long as possible. Blacklegged ticks generally live for about 2 years and cycle through larva, nymph, and adult stages, feeding prior to each stage. A female tick requires a 4-5 day blood feast before she can mate. Once filled with enough blood, the female tick will drop off and wait until spring to lay her eggs.Female ticks can lay thousands of eggs.
Even though the weather is getting a bit cooler, don’t let your guard down. Ticks will remain a problem for quite a while longer. In the meantime, use these practices to help keep ticks out of your yard this fall:
- Contact your veterinarian to find out what type of tick treatment your pet needs
- Keep your yard free of tall grasses and thick vegetation
- Remove clutter and debris from your property
- Check for ticks on both yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors
Innovative Pest Control offers a tick control program that will get eliminate any ticks inside your home and help to control the population of ticks outside of your home. We can also provide tips on how to lower the risk of the intrusion of other wildlife that may bring ticks onto your property or into your home. Give us a call to learn more about our residential pest control options.