Keeping East Texas Pets Safe from Ticks
Have you ever had the displeasure of finding a big 'ol tick on your dog's ear? It’s a disgusting discovery, for sure. But it can also be dangerous for you and your pet. Ticks are linked to a long list of diseases, some of which can become chronic and lead to lifelong illness. But long before ticks attach to your pets and engorge themselves, there are some steps you can take to keep them out of your home and away from your pets.
Ticks don't usually wander into our yards on their own. They are typically carried onto our properties by host animals such as deer, raccoons, opossums, squirrels, mice, rats, or other mammals. So tick control actually begins with wildlife prevention!
The primary way to control wildlife is to make your yard less inviting to them. Here are a few ways you can accomplish this:
Keep your grass trimmed and the weeds around your property plucked.
Leave space between the plants in your landscaping.
Put screens or fencing material in place to keep animals from finding harborage under your deck, porch, patio, and other structures.
Keep all outdoor trash stored in sealed receptacles.
Put fencing around gardens, berry bushes, fruit trees, and other food sources; be sure the fencing reaches at least a foot under the ground to prevent burrowing animals from tunneling under it to gain access to your yard.
While installing fences and performing the tips mentioned above around your property won't completely exclude animals from coming into your yard, they're a good start. Your fence perimeter doesn't have to be complete to have an impact, either. If you put fencing between your lawn and an area of woods that leads to your property, it may be enough to keep animals from wandering into your yard.
Be aware that ticks don't just ride on furry animals. They can also enter into your yard on birds as well. And a single bird can have dozens of ticks on it. To keep birds from introducing ticks to your property, keep bird feeders away from your foundation perimeter. This will help to prevent developing ticks from falling off into shaded areas where they will wait for a new host, like you, your family members, or your pets to pass by.
Reduce Shade and Moisture
Ticks need a lot of moisture to survive. If you have shaded areas around your home, they're going to take advantage of them. Trimming tree branches can allow the sunlight in to dry out your perimeter and make it is less inviting to invading ticks.
Fixing leaks in plumbing, obstructed or broken gutters, compacted soil, and other conditions that lead to standing water can reduce the moisture ticks search for. While it won't work to make your perimeter completely unusable to ticks, it will help drive some of them away.
Two of the ticks we see in our service area are the American dog tick and the Brown dog tick. These two species of tick have "dog" in their name for a reason. They prefer to feed on dogs. So it is important to take extra precautions if you have dogs. To protect your dog from tick threats, invest in tick products suggested by your veterinarian and create a fenced-in play area in your yard. That fence will reduce wildlife activity in that area and also prevent your dog from exploring your perimeter vegetation or wandering off into an area of tall grass and picking up questing ticks.
There’s no such thing as a cat tick but that doesn't mean that our feline friends are safe from these parasitic pests. In the same way cat fleas can readily attack dogs, dog ticks can feed on cats. And deer ticks can attach to both cats and dogs, despite being called “deer ticks”. Don't let the names throw you off!
Cats do have one advantage over dogs. Their constant grooming behavior can help them find and remove ticks before diseases are transmitted. But, when ticks are in a place they can't groom or in a location that is hard for them to remove, those ticks can stay on your cat long enough to transmit harmful diseases. Therefore, it is important to make sure you have tick control products for your cats.
In the battle against ticks, the greatest weapon a pet owner has is having tick reduction service performed by a licensed professional. At Innovative Pest Control, we treat wooded areas, vegetation, tree trunks, and other places where questing ticks are known to lie in wait for hosts to pass by. These control product won't harm your pets or your kids but will work to eliminate ticks and reduce the chances that you or your pets will become ill from tick-borne pathogens. If you need assistance with tick control, go here to learn more!