Keeping your pets...
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If you have an “outside” dog or cat, chances are good they’ve picked up ticks at one time or another in their lives. Whether the Lyme Disease carrying Deer Tick, or the less dangerous Brown Dog Tick, you’ll want to proceed with caution. Brown Dog Ticks tend to avoid humans and don’t seem to carry the very serious Lyme Disease, though they can still carry unhealthy pathogens, like Rocky Mountain spotted fever. So understanding how to stop them in their tracks can protect the health of both you and your pets.
Ironically, in the absence of a host it takes very little effort to keep ticks out of your yard. By simply applying a perimeter of crushed stone or wood chippings you can deter most potential ground traffic. Because ticks have tiny legs and sensitive feet, they don’t like climbing across rough surfaces.
Unfortunately, this does nothing to stop the other mammals that wander into your yard from becoming unwitting rides for ticks searching for a meal.
Defense vs Offense
Defending your outdoor pets from ticks can be a cumbersome process, but there are some straightforward precautions you can take to avoid messy infestations. Before you start spraying deet-infused bug spray into the shadows, you may want to try a few common sense steps for keeping an all-around pest-free home. To begin with, fence in your dog so it can’t wander into tall grass and other areas where ticks are prone to be waiting for a healthy host.
Regardless of whether you’re able or willing to do this, consider applying mosquito repellent as a deterrent before breaking out the big guns. It’s a surprisingly cheap and effective alternative to some of the more nuclear options when it comes to tick-resistant chemicals for pets.
And at the end of the day, protecting yourself from ticks directly intersects the protective steps taken for many other pests.
Squirrels and mice, for example, are far more likely vectors of ticks in your yard than your dog. So your ability to keep smaller mammals at bay will oftentimes kill two birds with one stone. While proofing your property against rodents, you are also doing yourself a favor by limiting the number of tick carrying hosts you allow near your property.
For more in depth advice on preventing mice, click here.
Suffice it to say, the fence you use to keep your dog away from the woods can also keep swarms of ticks at a distance. By the same token, making sure you don’t leave food outside that would attract ants indoors eliminates the incentive of tick-carrying mammals for coming near your house in the first place.
Integrated pest management plans can effectively stop multiple pests in their tracks, which is why it’s important to have an overall strategy in place. Does this sound overwhelming? We’re here to help! We’d love to assist in drafting a custom strategy for your home.
What should I do next?
Give us a call at (269) 424-3458. We’d be happy to walk you through both the removal AND prevention process. If you find ticks still attached to your pet and are wondering what to do, remember that you can remove them yourself as long as you have a fine tip tweezers and are careful not to break the mouth parts off in your pet’s skin. If the mouth parts (some people refer to them collectively as the “head”) break off inside your pet, it’s possible that the area may become infected and whatever diseases the tick is carrying will spread.
We’re here to assist! Give us a call at (269) 424-3458!