If you live in Florida, then you know it’s been a very mild winter. And if you live in the Tampa area around Eastlake Woodlands, you know that the hurricane season combined with all of the sweltering heat of the summer and the early spring lead to an explosion of pest insects.
Everything from mosquitoes to biting flies still swarm, thanks to there being so few actually cold days this year. But people around the Eastlake Woodlands area know that there’s a large deer population, and if there’s deer, there’s one simple and unfortunate truth: there’s also gonna be ticks.
And if you have pets, like a lot of people in the Tampa area do, you’re very likely going to find at least one creepy crawly on them, and they can transmit disease. Experts are warning us that this year’s going to be an especially bad year for ticks, with disease incidence expanding and becoming endemic in new areas.
Whatever you use to repel ticks (even the toxic, carcinogenic pharmaceutical products) … if your dog plays in wooded areas, once in a while he’ll probably pick up a tick or two.
Most tick-borne diseases aren’t transmitted immediately, so if you get ticks off your dog within 24 to 36 hours of a tick bite, he’s unlikely to get infected.
If you do find ticks on your dogs, grab your nearest pair of tweezers and Part your dog’s hair around the tick with your fingers, place the tweezers around the tick, as close as you can, possibly get to the skin. Don’t twist or jerk the tick,just pull gently upwards with steady hands, adding pressure until the tick lets you pull it away from the skin.
Clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, iodine or soap and water, dispose of the tick by killing it in alcohol or flush it down the toilet.
If you’re concerned your dog may have contracted tick disease, save the tick in alcohol for testing.
Make sure not to squish or crush a tick. This can force infected body fluids through the tick’s mouth and increase the risk of infection for you and your dog.