Tick control is very important because ticks are more than just pests. They transmit bacteria that can cause a number of diseases! If you live in areas that are prone to tick infestation, you will want to be careful and practice measures that can help manage or prevent it altogether.
July and August are the months when tick population swells. It is the season when you are most likely to experience a bite, an infestation on dogs or cats or worse, an invasion in your home. And the trouble with ticks, by the time you notice one biting, it may already have injected enough saliva carrying enough bacteria to make you sick.
Tick Control – Key to Disease Prevention
There are more than 800 species of ticks in the world and in the United States alone, over a dozen type exists including the carriers of the most feared Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. Given this fact, the best way to prevent such diseases from happening to any member of the family is prevention of tick infestation.
Although it is a fact that these creepy creatures are more prevalent during tick season, it is best to do prevention all year round as seasonal prevention may not be enough. It has been observed that in the past 10 years, changes have occurred in tick incidences depending on the area. Climate conditions may have something to do with this hence a 12-month tick control and management program has become a must.
Some preventive measures evaluated to help control tick infestation in dogs and other animals:
- Acaracide – a chemical agent that is used in eliminating pests in many forms and is said to also prevent ticks in dogs.
- Amitraz – said to be used to treat dog collars, this insecticide may help prevent the spread of Lyme disease.
- Fipronil spray – applied externally, this product is used even by veterinarians to control ticks and fleas on dogs and cats.
- Permithrin imidacloprid topical solutions – a spot-on anti-tick and anti-flea treatment.
These products, according to studies made can help but are not guaranteed to completely prevent the coming of ticks. Because they are so tiny, one or two may still manage to find a way into your home and onto your pets. Consistent tick control practices will definitely reduce the chances of disease transmission.
Management on Your Own
Since there is really no cast iron formula to eradicate ticks, might as well do your best to make sure you are able to protect yourself at all times, tick season or not.
- Dress to protect so that you don’t have to avoid the al fresco. Nature trip is very relaxing only when you know you are fully protected so put on clothes that will make it hard for ticks to find their way to your skin.
- Use deterrents, an effective tick control measure, if you must venture into tick areas. A good way of doing so is to spray your clothing especially pants and socks with tick repellants. You may use permethrin-based products or opt for the more pleasant plant-based pesticides with lemon eucalyptus oil. The advantage with permithrin however, is that it can stay effective even after several washes.
- Make it a habit to check for ticks especially after coming from tick-prone areas. Lyme disease is transmitted in 36 to 48 hours of tick feeding on your blood. That means there is more than enough time for you to prevent an infection if you ensure to do a thorough body check and be able to immediately remove a tick once you find one attached on you right after you get home.
- Another tick control measure that works is heat. Wash your clothes, beddings and linens in hot soapy water and place in dryer using high heat. High heat can kill most tick species in different life cycle stages even if they are hiding in folds or hems of fabrics.
In a study made about possible predators that can prey on ticks, chickens were found to be among the most effective. So if you happen to keep chickens at home, you might find it good to know that they can consume up to ten ticks in an hour. That would definitely contribute in your tick control measures.
Additionally, maintaining well-kept and mowed lawns will help keep ticks at bay as a clear, open yard is unattractive to them. They may wander near the edges but they are unlikely to venture closer to your home if the immediate surrounding is clean, clear and dry.
These preventive measures are time-tested and observing them never hurt anybody, only the ticks. So regardless of where you live or even if you are the kind who frequent tick-prone regions, you can prevent them from finding their way to you or to your pets. But because they are almost everywhere, know how you can effectively deal with their presence and thus avoid getting sick with effective tick control steps.