Why Port St. Lucie Residents Need to Keep Pets Safe from Ticks
August 28, 2018
Through the years, we have written a ton of articles about ticks. We've discussed everything from the basics of tick management to detailed articles on subjects such as tick-related illnesses. We've also shared many tips to help residents protect their pets from fleas and ticks. If you have read any of these articles, you know how important it is to keep your pets safe from ticks. If you haven't, here are some facts about ticks that may open your eyes to how dangerous these pests really are to both you and your pets.
The Wildlife Connection
Dogs and cats aren't the only animals that can bring ticks into a home. Invading mice, rats, birds, and other mammals can bring these pests inside as well. However, this connection is often missed. If you've seen mouse dropping, holes chewed in baseboards, birds perched on your roofline, holes dug under your porch, or other evidence of animal invasion, it is important to be aware that you may also have problems with ticks and other parasite infestations in your home since tick infestations and wildlife infestations go hand in hand.
The Pet Connection
People who have pets are at greater risk of coming into contact with ticks. Every time a dog or a cat goes outside and comes back in, there is a chance that they could bring ticks back inside with them. Veterinarians do a great job of educating pet owners on how pets can bring ticks inside, so if you have pets, then you probably already know this. What you may not know, however, is that pets can also help to move ticks around inside a home by bringing them onto couches, into beds, and to other areas throughout the home!
The Human Connection
It is possible for a questing tick to get on a human. Unfortunately, this is actually quite a common occurrence. If you or your family member spends time outdoors and comes back inside, they can unknowingly bring ticks back in with them. But, unlike with animal hosts such as dogs or cats, ticks aren't likely to establish themselves on humans long enough to begin dropping eggs and cause an infestation. This doesn’t mean that humans bringing ticks inside can’t lead to an infestation, however. If a tick finds a pet to use as a host, an infestation could take root, depending on the species of tick.
The Moisture Connection
Ticks require high humidity levels in order to survive. For this reason, these pests will hide in shaded areas around a home. If a pet or a child goes into these locations, they have a greater chance of picking up ticks. It is important to create a play area for pets that is fenced in to keep pets out of these areas and to educate your kids on the dangers of picking up ticks in vegetation and in the shaded locations around your home.
In all of the above connections, pets are a key factor. Dogs and cats pick ticks up, spread ticks around inside homes, and bring them into close contact with humans. When they do, they can expose us and themselves to harmful tick-borne diseases that can lead to lifelong health complications. That is the most important reason to protect your pets from these parasitic pests!
Ticks Make Pets Sick
The diseases that ticks carry can also make dogs and cats sick. Some of the many diseases they can spread to pets are Lyme disease, American canine hepatozoonosis, tularemia, cytauxzoonosis, babesia, tick paralysis, haemobartonellosis, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMS). The symptoms of these diseases include lameness, fever, paralysis, heart and liver disease, nausea and vomiting, lethargy, shivering, restlessness, depression, neurological abnormalities, skin lesions, anemia, anorexia, muscle pain, respiratory distress, and more. These diseases can make your beloved pets feel miserable and cost you quite a bit of money in medical bills.
Tick Control Strategies
- Make sure your pets are being treated with veterinarian-prescribed tick products such as collars and powders.
- Check your pets for ticks routinely, especially after coming in from being in the woods or in the grass.
- Avoid bringing your pets into shaded or moist areas where ticks are commonly found.
- Create a fenced-in play area to keep your pets in and wildlife out.
- Move bird feeders away from your the perimeter of your foundation. A single bird can have dozens of ticks on it.
- Store exterior trash in sealed containers to avoid attracting wildlife.
- Put a gravel or wood chips barrier around the edge of your property to deter questing ticks from wandering into your yard. Ticks do not like to crawl over rough surfaces.
Tick Control That Works Best
It can be challenging to prevent wildlife from bringing ticks onto your property. Professional pest-control technicians meet this challenge by applying treatments to reduce ticks in your yard. These treatments will also work to reduce flea populations!
If you live in Port St. Lucie, take a look at the Platinum Package from Nozzle Nolen! It works to manage 20+ pests including fleas and ticks. It also covers mice and rats, so you can double your protection in one plan! Contact us at Nozzle Nolen to learn more about how partnering with the professionals at Nozzle Nolen can help protect yourself, your family members, and your pets from ticks and the diseases they spread!
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