Fall can be one of the best seasons for getting you and your pet outside and into the fresh fall air. However, be aware that ticks are still out there, waiting, and looking for the perfect host for their next meal. While for some ticks, it’s time to pack themselves away for the spring, for the black-legged (deer) tick though, it is prime hunting season. And yes, this is the tick everyone is worried about; the one that transmits Lyme disease. Ticks can be very adept in hiding among the leaf litter in wooded areas, your backyard and areas with a lot of brush.
Here are some prevention tips:
- Use a tick preventative year-round. Ticks are still just as active in the winter and early spring months as they are in summer and fall. If it is 4 degrees Celsius outside, ticks are active!
- Do a full body check. Before you enter your house or after a hike, try to do a full body check of your pet to make sure none of the clinging pests are hitching a ride. Remember also to check yourself as well! Wearing long sleeves, long pants tucked into socks are a good way to help prevent ticks from attaching to you.
- Check online for a tick map. Most Canadian provinces will have a map online showing the worst places ticks have been known to be, which allows you to check and see if that hiking trail you were going to hike today is one you need to do a very thorough body check of you and your pet after (though you should do one after every hike just to be safe).
Written by Kelly Fulcher, Veterinary Assistant