Let’s Talk Ticks
If you read our previous blog, “Let’s Talk Fleas”, you will know that controlling fleas with a reliable flea medication (that is used year round) is crucial to keeping these pesky bugs out of your house. So let’s talk ticks… Shouldn’t a reliable flea (and tick) medication keep these things off too??
Excellent question! Let me tell you a little bit about ticks, how they find a host and why, even with a very effective medication, you may still see these pests.
The first thing to understand is that ticks (along with other parasites and allergies) are BAD this year. We are all struggling to keep these things under control and NO PRODUCT is going to work 100%.
The second thing to understand is the way that ticks actually get onto your pet because this is WHY no product will work 100%. Ticks “quest” (see the picture with this blog). Questing means that ticks stand near the tops of tall grasses and brush. They extend their tiny front legs into the air and wave them around in wait for an unsuspecting animal or human to come by. Because of this method of attaching to a host, ticks do not know or care what product you are using for protection. Bug sprays and flea/tick products may have you believe that you can “repel” ticks, but because of this behavior, this just isn’t so. The trick is to stay out of taller grasses to avoid the ticks and, if a tick does catch a ride, make sure that it starts dying as soon as possible.
Not all tick products are effective at killing ticks. Flea and tick shampoos have no lasting effects for fleas or ticks and will even strip any products that you apply to your pet, making them less effective. It is best to use an effective product (not sure which is best? call your Veterinary Team…they will help you). An effective tick product is one that kills ticks quickly once they come into contact with your pet. To help make sure your and your pets stay tick free, do a thorough tick check over you and your pets after each time outside, and promptly remove any ticks that you find. Check out next week’s blog for proper tick removal technique and as always, if you have a question about your pet, call your Vet!