Ticks are a fact of life in Indiana. Depending on the environment and activities that you and your pets are exposed to and the local outdoor bird and wildlife populations, your awareness of their presence may be variable. We often think of ticks as a seasonal threat, but the reality is that they can be present year round. See the lifecycle below published by the CDC of the tick that transmits Lyme disease (https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/life_cycle_and_hosts.html)
Prevention of external parasites, like ticks, on our dogs has become much easier over the years thanks to a variety of oral and topical products, collars, etc. Depending on your particular needs, your veterinarian can help you decide which products may be best for you. Year round prevention offers the most effective coverage and protection to avoid exposure to ticks who can carry a variety of diseases.
In addition, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends the following landscaping tips for a “Tick Free Zone”: https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/prev/in_the_yard.html
- Clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edge of lawns
- Place a 3-ft wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas and around patios and play equipment. This will restrict tick migration into recreational areas
- Mow the lawn frequently and keep leaves raked.
- Stack wood neatly and in a dry area to discourage rodents that ticks feed on.
- Keep playground equipment, decks, and patios away from yard edges and trees and place them in a sunny location.
- Remove any old furniture, mattresses, or trash from the yard that may give ticks a place to hide.
In general, keep your yard and environment clean and less inviting to ticks waiting for a meal on you and your pet.
If you have questions regarding your environmental risks to your pets and tick prevention please contact our helpful team at Angel Animal Hospital at 317-888-6435.
Coming up Next: Ticks can carry several serious diseases that affect humans and animals. What tests are available to find those and are there vaccines available?