Critter Alley

Critter Alley

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ick...a Tick!

On Saturday we went to a party at a friend's home. Their place is lovely and private, nestled in a heavily wooded area. Although rain rolled in later, it wasn't enough to dampen anyone's fun.

Something else, however, did. I felt a strange tickle on my neck and instinctively reached to touch the area. Eek! It was a tick that (fortunately) was still looking for the right place to bite. I was able to quickly snatch it off. However, it gave me the creepy crawlies for the rest of the day. Indy went along with us, so he got a thorough check. Ticks love dogs even more than people. If you have a critter, and live in an area that ticks frequent, I'm sure you've dealt with this type of unpleasant discovery, too.

Hard to remove an attached tick, isn't it? That's because when its already attached to feed, the tick secretes a cement-like substance that keeps the arachnid (yep, spider family) firmly in place. Then when it finishes feeding, the tick releases a "solvent" for the substance to release its hold. If you're removing an imbedded tick, you don't want to leave anything behind. Ticks are known carriers of many serious diseases.

The name of the game is prevention. Before going into wooded areas, be sure to wear protective clothing treated with an approved tick repellent. Wear a hat. And talk to your vet about a program to keep ticks from using your pet for lunch.

I know ticks serve a purpose as food for birds and other wildlife, but I'm not willing to thank them for their part in the food chain.

Because I love spring. But I hate ticks.


The Word Place said...

I hate them, too! They drop off the pine trees around here, so even though Lady doesn't run loose, she has acquired one just from being out on the deck. However, her monthly tick and flea application takes care of things. (I would not, however, want to put the stuff on myself!)

Anonymous said...

I used to have a golden Labrador called Ben and he suffered with fleas, thanks to the untreated cats that lived next door to my parents. Flea control was less effective then. Thank goodness for the good stuff we have nowadays. We treat Barkley every month.