A relatively warmer winter is a welcome gift to some, and it is refreshing to avoid those below-freezing temperatures. However, without frigid climates, the tick population thrives, and ticks are now recognized as one of the major pests putting humans and animals at risk of various diseases, especially because the do's and don'ts of tick removal are not familiar to all.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported that the summer yielded a record number of ticks, and professionals are urging people to become more aware, while also taking preventative measures against the pesky pests.
"Whether hiking in the woods this summer or simply taking the dog for a walk through the park, it's crucial for people to take steps to protect themselves from ticks when outside," Jeff Phillips, CEO at Blue Chip Pest Control and Removal Services, told the Dispatch. "Once indoors, personal inspection is important because immature ticks are extremely small and hard to spot." According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), immature ticks are about the size of poppy seeds, and hard to find. The question for some is, what do we when personal inspection yields an attached tick?
The NPMA conducted a survey this year, which found that the majority of people don't know how to properly remove ticks. Improper removal increases the risk of tick-borne ailments, like Lyme disease, because part of the infectious pest could remain in the skin. To properly remove a latched-on tick, squeeze at the point of attachment with fine-tipped tweezers, in an upward and steady motion, ensuring the tick's release of the bite. After the tick is fully removed, wash the affected area with warm soap and water. Hartz recommends putting the tick in a plastic bag and freezing it, or placing it in a half-full bottle of rubbing alcohol.
While people know to roll their socks over their pants and avoid the tall grasses, it's important to remember to keep pets safe from pests like ticks, as well as making sure they're up to date in the area of flea removal. There are many kinds of affordable tick and flea collars, like the Hartz® UltraGuard® Flea & Tick Collar for Dogs. These collars kill ticks, fleas and their eggs, and keeps those pests away for up to seven months.
This content is provided by the flea and tick experts at Hartz. We believe in offering safe, effective and affordable parasite prevention for every dog and cat.