Keep Ticks from Bugging Your Family and Pets

Keep Ticks from Bugging Your Family and Pets

Just take a few precautions and you can lower the risk of being bitten by ticks which may carry disease.
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Don't let down your guard quite yet! Summer may be over, but the ticks are still lurking. To protect your family and pets, even in your own yard, it's best to stay vigilant until the first frost. Ticks can be active any time the temperature is above 45 degrees F, so for areas with mild winters, they're a year-long menace.

Recognizing Ticks

If one is known by the company one keeps, then ticks are part of a nasty lot. They're related to mites, spiders and scorpions. Most adult ticks are the size of a sesame seed, while a nymph is about the size of a poppy seed.

Ticks like to hang out several feet off the ground in tall grass and in low brush around wooded areas. Since they can neither fly nor jump, ticks attach themselves through direct contact with people and pets passing through the vegetation.

Once they've found a target, they crawl under clothes, hair or fur and attach themselves to skin. Some ticks have the uncanny ability to detect people up to 18 feet away!

Put Out the Unwelcome Mat

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are some landscaping tricks that you can use to reduce the number of ticks in your yard and in the area around your home.

Remove fallen leaves and clear any tall grass or brush from around your house and at the edges of your yard, especially near pathways and walkways. Keep your lawn well maintained and mowed short. Trim low-lying bushes to let in as much sunlight as possible. This will help keep your yard from becoming a shelter for small mammals that may act as hosts for ticks. Put a three-foot-wide, three-inch-deep barrier of wood chips or gravel between your lawn and any woods to keep the ticks from coming into your yard.

Because white-footed mice and some birds can be hosts for ticks, don't put birdbaths or birdhouses on your property during tick season.

Make sure your lawn chairs, swing sets and playhouses are in sunny, dry areas. You may want to place mulch or woodchips around these areas.

Dress to Repel

When you're going to be outside for a while, be sure to wear light-colored socks and pants to help spot ticks more easily.

Tuck your pant legs into your socks to reduce the risk of ticks getting under your clothing. And before you go outside, spray your socks and pant cuffs with OFF! Deep Woods® Aerosol repellent.
OFF! Deep Woods® repellents are also available in a pump-spray and as convenient towelettes. All contain 25% DEET, which will provide tick protection for an extended period of time.

Before you come back indoors, be sure to check your clothes and gear for ticks.

Protecting Your Pets

Try to keep your pets in the middle of your yard, away from the high grass and brush. You minimize the risk of a tick attaching itself to your pets if you don't let them run loose through the woods.

A tick attached to your pet won't infect a person while it's clinging to your pet; however, keep in mind that a loose tick can fall off and find you as a new host.

Ticks like warm areas, so look under your pet's legs, in the ears, between the toes and in folds in the skin. Many pet stores carry fine-toothed combs that are helpful in lifting ticks out of a cat or dog's fur before they can attach.

DEET-based repellents are not recommended or approved for use on pets. Consult your veterinarian for additional advice.

What if You Find a Tick?

Generally, ticks can transmit diseases with in 24 hours of beginning to feed on their host, so carefully check your family members and pets whenever they've been outdoors in wooded areas.

If you do find a tick attached to a person or a pet, remove it right away with tweezers, preferably needle nose. Grasp the tick's head as close to the skin as possible and pull the tick straight out, being careful not to twist or squeeze the body because this can cause part of the tick to remain embedded in the skin.

If you can't remove the tick successfully, call your doctor or vet to find out what to do.

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recent comments
10/11/2012 , 
judy  g.
good ideas
1/6/2009 , 
Donna  J.
my first time reading the articles,truly very informative&entertaining. i have a sm. dog which i take to the vet i use the flea & tick products which proves to be very effected. because i found a dead tick still in tack but dead & dried up the removed was all to easy, just wanted to share.
10/19/2008 , 
chontelle  j.
i've had the disease several times and am a pro now....never suffocate or burn or squeeze a tick to remove it, what most people don't know is, if the tick removes it's own head, or you squeeze it's body, in order for the tick to remove it's head, it lubricates the hole (where he's attached) with his stomach fluids which is where the lyme bacteria actually in doing so, the tick then puts the bacteria into your body...the safest way for removal is called a tick nipper, it is a very tiny scoop shaped head pair of tweezers that allows you to get under the body and at the head and pull gently until it comes works everytime...just a side note, if the tick head remained in your body, it would be the equivelent of getting a sliver...the head does not carry the lyme disease. so clean it well and wait for it to fall out or scab ... good luck and for all of you, it is possible to get lyme disease at any time of the year...get rid of unwanted small animals in your yard.
10/16/2008 , 
jim  m.
i heard that clear finger nail polish applied to cover the tick suffocates & the tic falls off!
10/15/2008 , 
Shannon  J.
I think the article was very well written also. The comments about were something that everyone should read, but not adhere to all of them. Lyme Disease is a terrible thing that I have suffered with for over 20 years. It took 2 years to diagnose me. Tick checks are very routine with my family. Therefore I feel that I must clarify a point in that direction. TICK REMOVAL: NEVER use Vaseline, nail polish remover or a hot match to remove the tick!! Vaseline will do nothing because even though the theory is that having no oxygen the tick will back out. this is untrue, the tick gets plenty of oxygen from the blood it is feeding on. Using other methods to "shock" the tick out will give you a more likely chance of the tick transferring it's disease that it may be carrying into you.
Showing 1 - 5 of 26 comments:
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