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Prepare for the Summer Invasion

By Mary Moon VMD

May 2, 2017

Milder winters, booming mice and deer populations and a bumper crop of acorns means this year’s tick season is expected to be bad. With that comes the threat of more tick-borne diseases, including the most common, Lyme disease. Included in this blog is advice on how to avoid ticks printed in the Wall Street journal on April 25, 2017.

For your pets we recommend several products, not all of which repel ticks. Most, like Frontline, require the tick to bite your pet to be effective. These usually kill the tick before it can transmit disease. For those products that require applying a liquid make sure to follow the package directions and that you have the correct dose for your pet’s weight. Get the product on the skin and wait 48 hours after bathing to apply to your pet as most topical treatments travel over the body via the hair.

Also make sure that your pet is vaccinated for Lyme disease. That and thorough tick-checks for you and your pets after being outside can help to minimize the risk.

How to Avoid Tick and Help Prevent Lyme Disease

  • Avoid tall grass, leaf piles and wooded areas. Stay in the center of walking and hiking trails.
  • Use repellent that contains DEET, 20% or more- on skin and clothing. Don’t spray your pets with DEET.
  • If camping or hiking, treat clothing and gear with permethrin. Don’t use on your pets.
  • When working outside or walking in the woods, wear long sleeves and long pants and stick your pants inside your socks. Wear lighter colored clothing so you can see ticks more easily. Not white clothing. This color attaracts ticks.
  • Do a thorough tick check of the body using a mirror. Make sure you check hard–to-reach areas, including under arms, behind ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees and in the groin area. A lice comb can help for checking hair.
  • Showering or bathing after spending time outside can wash off ticks that haven’t latched on yet.
  • Check pets and clothing and equipment that have been outside for crawling ticks.
  • Drying clothes on high heat for 10 mins can kill ticks. Add additional drying time for wet clothes.
  • Regularly mow or trim your lawn to avoid tall grass and rake leaves.
  • Place a 3-foot wide barrier of gravel or wood chips between the lawn and wooded areas. Try to maintain a 9-foot barrier between the wood chips and area such as the patio, garden and play area.
  • Try to plant crops that deer don’t like or erect an 8-foot fence to keep them out.
  • Spray your yard with acaricides or tick pesticides to help reduce the number of ticks.

Acorn bumper crop video.

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