As we approach the summer months and the weather becomes hopefully warmer, we tend to spend more time outside enjoying the countryside with our beloved four legged friends. Unfortunately this also brings with it an increase in the potential for ticks and fleas.
What are Ticks?
Ticks are very small spider like creatures that feed on the blood of animals and people.
In the UK there are currently 22 different species, and can be reddish, dark brown or black. They’re usually about the size of a sesame seed (1-3mm), but after feeding they can swell to the size of a small pea.
During the feeding process, they can transmit what are known as pathogens which can result in infections, such as Lyme's disease. This can be serious if not identified and treated quickly.
Where are ticks found?
Ticks like to live in areas of dense vegetation, most commonly found in woodland areas and are often found attached to tall grass and shrubs. Ticks are unable to fly, so they attach themselves to animals or humans as they brush past long grass and other plants.
How do I avoid ticks?
Keep to footpaths and avoid long grass.
Try to avoid areas local to you, where ticks have been found.
Wear long-sleeved tops and tuck trousers into socks, make sure you protect the back of the knees, armpits and the groin area.
Ticks can get on your clothes so wearing light colours will make it easier to spot them as they will stand out more.
Use insect repellent check with a pharmacist for advice on a suitable product.
Check regularly outside and in the home.
Check your pets regularly as they can carry ticks in their fur. These include areas that are hidden aways such as under the collar, under the tail, around the groin area, and around the joints.
How to remove ticks from Pets?
There are many online guides and removal tools available in order for you to complete the removal yourself although if you are unsure its always best to consult your vet, who can teach you how to complete the process or remove the tick for you.