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Some simple steps to get rid of ticks

Updated on March 7, 2011

The peak of tick season is usually during summer, but in certain areas ticks can be active all year round. Commonly ticks appear around April and disappear in October.
You can avoid ticks on your pets and in your home by following some simple rules.

- Try avoiding tick breeding grounds: The best way to avoid ticks is keeping your pet indoors. Ticks are usually mostly active outdoors and dogs and cats are the primary carriers of ticks into homes. It’s hard to avoid going outdoors during the duration of the tick season but you can avoid forests, woods, and places where there is tall grass and brush. Especially avoid deer trails.

- Check your pets regularly for ticks: Always check your cats or dogs when they get back home from a walk outdoors. It’s best to check them for ticks manually. Pay attention to the neck, head and paws. Brushing is usually a good time to inspect your pet’s fur for ticks and fleas as well. Use a special brush that removes fleas. Don’t forget to wash the pet’s bedding regularly because that’s where you’ll find the parasite’s eggs.

- Try mowing your lawn on regular basis: If you have a lawn, regular mowing will keep the ticks away, because their preferred location is tall grass. Remove brush and weed as well. Ticks hate short grass and dirt. Getting a guinea fowl for your garden is a good idea too, because this bird can eat daily a large number of ticks, helping you keep a “tick free” surrounding.

- When removing the tick use the tweezers: When you find a tick attached to yours or your pet’s skin use a pair of tweezers to remove it. The tick attaches itself on the chosen host by burying its head under the skin, so you absolutely have to remove the tick’s head to avoid possible infections. The removal technique is quite easy: position the tweezers close to the skin’s surface and then slowly pull straight up. Always clean the site of the bite using alcohol or just plain soap and water.

- Never use alcohol or petroleum jelly when trying to remove the tick: People often recommend removing ticks from the skin by putting alcohol, petroleum jelly, nail polish or oil. Avoid these technique because even though they can be successful in the tick physical removal, the tick is probably going to release toxins into your pet's or your body as a response to the substances. These methods can increase the chances of you getting a tick borne illness.

- Don’t throw the tick in the garbage: This may seem a silly advice but the remove ticks can actually climb back from the garbage. So, don’t just throw it away. Don’t crush it with your bare hand or feet either for obvious reasons because this too can release the tick’s toxins. The best thing is to save the extracted tick in a sealed container for the vets to examine it because this may help doctors diagnose a possible tick borne disease. If you are going to stick to this protocol just burn it or flush it down the toilet.

- Use an efficient tick repellent: Last but not least. You can buy some really good repellents at your local store or from your vet. The repellents are usually in sprays, topical solutions and collars. The topical repellents like Frontline plus are usually the most effective and long lasting. Don’t use the repellents on cuts or irritated skin and stick to the recommended dosage.


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