Recently a report in the New York Times suggested the invasion of another tick species in the United States which is indigenous to Asia. Known as Haemaphysalis longicornis, it is a long-horned tick which is constantly spreading its population near the Eastern Seaboard and is alarming the health officials about the diseases it could carry to the country. If reports are to be believed, this growing menace has reached seven states already, not sparing the New York City suburbs and New Jersey. These ticks are a major threat to livestock which is why in Australia and New Zealand, people refer to them as Bush ticks and cattle ticks respectively.
The speedy growth of these Asian ticks after engorging themselves with the blood of the host is dangerously remarkable. In fact, a female tick of this species can lay hundreds of eggs and doesn’t require mating to do so.
Studies reveal that these ticks do not spread diseases in humans but can certainly bite them. Besides, they are definitely a threat to calves, horses, deer, sheep and an opossum as, according to the reports, 15 percent of the victims get killed due to immense blood loss after being infested with these ticks.
The research is still on if this species can cause Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the U.S. as it does in Asia. However, the main concern is about phlebovirus that can cause life-threatening thrombocytopenia syndrome in pets.
Well, until then, public health experts recommend people to follow the similar precautions which are taken to eradicate other domestic ticks.
So, here are the prevention methods all pet owners can take to safeguard their furry companions as well as their households from this terrible parasite.
5 Ways to Stop Tick Infestation
Use Tick Preventatives
Long-horned tick is just like any other tick and can infest the pet and your surroundings the same way as other ticks do. Thus, using a tick preventative like Frontline Plus, Bravecto or Advocate can save your pet from landing into trouble.
Shampoos and Dips can work
Usage of flea and tick shampoo is quite an inexpensive way of killing these parasites. As the formula comes into contact with the lodged tick on the pet’s skin, it kills the parasite immediately. Well, on the other hand, unlike shampoos, dips aren’t supposed to be rinsed. They are concentrated chemicals which are diluted with water and applied to the coat of the animal. However, its usage is restricted strictly to adult animals because of the presence of heavy chemicals in these concentrates.
Collars meant to repel ticks make a great outdoor gadget for pets. These tick collars contain chemicals that diffuse into the skin of the pet and kill every single tick that comes in contact with it. It repels all kinds of insects and parasites, thus you don’t have to worry about your dog or cat catching up the infestation when they are out exploring those bushy corners of the parks.
Use Tick Repellant Household Sprays
Tick repellant sprays that come for household use can disinfect your house from the lurking larvae and adult ticks that may have dislodged from your pet’s body. These sprays are excellent and easy to use solutions to prevent infestation up to a great extent. Apart from this, there are many other parasite repellent chemicals available in the market which can be used to treat soil and simultaneously repel rodents as well. Make the best use of these products to treat your garden and backyard. Also, do not forget to mow and shave them regularly.
The most important thing that every pet owner must keep in mind is to always inspect their pet for ticks. If you spot one, do not try to squeeze or burn it down. The best way to remove it is by using tweezers. Pull the tick gently using the tweezers and rub the bitten area with alcohol. You must flush this tick immediately and do not ever dispose of tick in the dustbin as they can crawl back in. Apart from that, you must do a tick-check on your children as well.
Well, in case your pet develops rashes or flu symptoms even after taking so many precautions, consult the vet immediately and bring the tick for a lab test to check if contains any disease.
Ticks are a menace. They cause varied illnesses in animals. Some of them can even be zoonotic which means they can also infect humans. Thus, prevention of the infestation is the only way you can stop the illness from knocking at your door. No matter what tick species emerge in the environment or in your locality, you must always be ready with the plan to combat it.