Tick Season: Top 5 Myths, Busted
There’s no doubt about it, ticks are scary. They’re hard to find, they latch onto skin and they cause tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease and Ehrlichiosis if left untreated. As people and their pets spend time outside, the threat of ticks is real. It’s best to be prepared whether you’re arming yourself with repellant, choosing a preventative for your pet, or just knowing the facts on treating and preventing tick bites.
Because the fear of ticks is real, you may have some misconceptions about ticks that need to be cleared up. Even though there are a lot of myths out there, we bust five that we think you should “tick” off your list.
- Myth: “Ticks jump!”
Unlike fleas, ticks don’t jump.They don’t fly, either. You heard that right. While fleas can jump 100-200 times their height and length, ticks are much happier on the ground and in tall grass which makes them expert crawlers to get on you or your pet’s legs.
- Myth: “I don’t have to worry about ticks after the summer.”
Wrong again. While ticks aren’t as prevalent in the cooler months, it takes just one warm day above 45 degrees to bring these pests out of hibernation.
- Myth: “Deer ticks are the only ticks I need to worry about.”
A tick is a tick is a tick. While Deer ticks are probably the most commonly known tick, there’s a whole laundry list of ticksto be aware of. Notably, the Deer ticks, Blacklegged ticks, Lone Star ticks, and Dog ticks all have a penchant for transmitting diseases including Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and even an allergy to red meat.
- Myth: “Ticks are easy to spot because they have huge bodies!”
Most times when you see a photo of a tick online or in a book, it’s already engorged after days of sucking blood from its host. This also means there is an increased risk of some kind of disease. Ticks are tiny–only about 3-5 mm in size. Remember to check your pets and yourself often if you’ve been spending an extended amount of time outdoors.
- Myth: “Lyme disease is easy to spot”.
First, let’s hope you never need to spot Lyme disease. While Lyme disease can make a ‘bullseye” type of rash on the skin, there are other symptoms to look out for in yourself and in your furry friend including: fatigue, muscle aches, fever, joint swelling, and difficulty breathing.
While ticks can be a source of anxiety when spending time outdoors, the best course of action is to stay vigilant and check yourself and your pets frequently to ensure you both stay healthy. Talk to your veterinarian about the best tick prevention solution for your cat or dog as it can vary based on age, breed and where you live. If you haven’t already, schedule your appointment with your veterinarian and set medication reminders. Your pet will thank you.
Fleas 101: 5 Facts You Didn’t Know, But Should
“Fleas.” Just saying the word can make you start to itch. Prime flea season has arrived. The last thing you want for your furry friends is a flea infestation that’s hard to exterminate. Fleas will stop at nothing to survive and infest not just your pets, but your home and your life, too.
So how much do you really know about fleas? While there’s a lot of information out there about these pesky parasites, we thought the following five facts were not only interesting but help you prevent a flea infestation from even happening in the first place.
Flea “Season” is Year-Round.
While technically the spring and summer seasons are known as “flea season” in North America, flea infestations can happen anytime, anywhere. It’s just a matter of the right environment for the eggs to hatch. A random warm day in January or the heat from your house can be enough to start and maintain an infestation.
Fleas Are Not Just for Outdoor Pets.
If you think your indoor pets are safe from fleas, think again. Whether your pet lives in the lap of luxury from your couch or likes the adventure of the great outdoors, fleas don’t care where they get to feast on some blood. Fleas can hitch a ride on your shoe and slip right through the front door uninvited.
Fleas Jump Around – Far and Wide.
Did you know that fleas can jump up to 200 times their size in order to find a host? That’s almost an incredible 1000 feet in the air if a human were to do the same.
Fleas Lay Their Eggs Lightning Fast.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. As soon as fleas find a host, they begin to lay the groundwork – and the eggs –for an infestation. Female fleas can lay around 50 eggs a day and up to 2,000 eggs during their lifespan if left untreated, leaving you with a costly extermination bill.
Flea Bites Cause More Than Just Itchy Problems.
Fleas aren’t known as the Purveyors of the Plague for nothing. They can invite a host of problems for your pet and even yourself! Some diseases that can be transmitted include: rash, tapeworm, flea-borne typhus, and yes, the bubonic plague.
Add Protecting Your Pets from Fleas on Your “To-Do” List.
Needless to say, as the temperatures start to rise, the threat of a flea infestation becomes more of a reality for you and your pet. Whether it’s a monthly chew, a collar, or a topical solution, choosing the best method can be difficult especially when there are many considerations including: geography, breed, age, and type of immune system. The best course of action to take is to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to talk about what flea prevention methods are best.