How to Properly Check and Remove Ticks from Your Pets

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When tick season rolls around, your pets are much more susceptible to bites and tick-borne diseases. Even if they are on preventative medication for fleas and ticks, it’s still important to check them regularly and after they have been outside. It never hurts to be sure that your pets are safe from these parasites.  

While you may be more vigilant about checking your dog for ticks, it’s also important to check your cat(s). This is especially true if they spend most of their time outside. The quicker a tick is removed, the better the chances are that it won’t pass on any diseases to your pet.  

What Do Ticks Look Like? 

Because there are different varieties, ticks come in many different colors and shapes. Some are grayish-brown, while others are brown, black, reddish, or even yellow in color. They are a flat oval shape and can be as small as a pinhead. This is why they are difficult to notice on your pets if you don’t check for them regularly.  

Ticks have eight legs and will start to get bigger in size the more they feed on your pet. The bigger a tick is, the longer it has been attached. They don’t have wings, which, is why they spend most of their time hiding and waiting for a human or animal to walk by so they can latch on.  

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Where Do Ticks Hide? 

Ticks will hide in tall grass or heavy vegetation. Because of this, it’s very important that you keep your grass cut short during tick season to help keep them out of your yard. When your pet walks through the grass, ticks will latch on and start to feed.  

Ticks latch onto your pet in places that are easy to hide. Check their head and ears, making sure to pay special attention under the collar. They will also latch onto their armpits or the underside of the tail. These warm and dark areas are perfect for hiding, so it’s important that you check them thoroughly. 

Finding and Removing Ticks on Your Pet 

To find ticks, start by putting on a pair of gloves and combing through your pet’s fur with your fingers, checking for any bumps on their skin. If you feel anything, carefully separate the fur and look for any ticks. If you see one, you should then remove it as quickly as possible.  

Using a pair of tweezers or a tick removal tool, grab the tick’s head and pull it up with a smooth, upward motion. Make sure that you have completely removed it and then clean the area around the bite with antiseptic.  

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Should I Save the Tick? 

It’s a good idea to save the tick in some rubbing alcohol for a few weeks after you have removed it. If your pet starts to get sick, bring it to the vet so they can test the tick for diseases. This is the best way to be sure that your pet gets the right treatment for whatever is ailing them.   

Prevention is Your Best Defense 

Preventing ticks is the best way to make sure your pet doesn’t get bitten in the first place. On top of keeping your grass mowed, you should also be sure to keep woodpiles far away from the house and other areas where your pet usually goes. Keeping your pets away from heavily wooded areas is another great way to prevent them from coming in contact with these pests.  

But for the best prevention, barrier sprays are a great way to keep pests like ticks out of your yard. The pest control experts at Mosquito Joe can help control ticks by spraying the perimeter of your property and targeting shrubbery and thicker vegetation. Our targeted approach can keep both you and your pets free from ticks all year round. 

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