What Are Ticks And How Do We Get Rid Of Them?

What exactly is a tick? Well, it rhymes with “ick” so that should give you your first clue. Parts of the arachnid family along with spiders, mites and scorpions, ticks are little eight-legged bloodsuckers. They live by feeding on the blood of both humans and animals. Tick Talk reports that there are over 40 species of ticks in Canada.

“Ticks can be found in many areas across Canada but they prefer to live in wooded areas, in tall grasses and under leaf litter,” reports their website, “They can also be found in urban areas, like city parks and green spaces.”

What problems are caused by ticks?

They are capable of spreading deadly diseases. Tick Talk tells us that the main tick borne disease of concern in Canada is Lyme disease. Courtesy of CTV News, CNN’s Kate Golembiewski reports that tick bites are dangerous because they may contain bacteria, viruses and other microbes from the blood of infected hosts. Ticks can pass those pathogens along whenever they bite new victims.

A tick “bite” is more of a “suck”. Golembiewski explains that both male and female ticks insert their barbed, straw-like mouthparts into the skin of their hosts. Female ticks drink to the point of becoming engorged with blood. This indicates that they will soon lay eggs.

How do you remove a tick that’s attached to you or your pet?

In her report, Golembiewski quotes University of Nebraska-Lincoln urban entomologist, Kait Chapman. “The recommendation is that you use a pair of tweezers, get the tick by its head as close to the skin as possible and pull it straight out,” Chapman instructs, “We don’t want to twist, because we could leave part of that mouthpart embedded in the skin. And we don’t want to grab the body because if you squeeze the body the tick could regurgitate more, which means that you’re increasing your chance of getting tick-borne illness.”

“Starting at your pet’s head, use your fingers like a comb and run your hands over your pet’s body,” adds Tick Talk, “You are feeling for lumps or bumps you previously did not notice. Make sure to check under your pet’s collar, inside the groin area, and under your pet’s front legs. It’s also important to examine under your pet’s tail and between his toes.”

What can be done to prevent tick bites?

Insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are helpful protectors against ticks, informs Golembiewski. They have all been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. However, these products are known to work differently against ticks than they do mosquitoes.

Chapman, therefore, recommends covering up. Tucking the bottoms of your pants into your socks is one wise way to avoid ankle bites. It’s also wise to throw your clothes into the dryer when you return home. A half an hour cycle will kill ticks that came home with you. Treating your clothes with an insecticide known as permethrin is also an effective bite prevention method.

The safety of your children is paramount.

This is an adamant belief of the SOS 4 Kids team! As a result, we offer a number of safety courses for kids including Home Alone Safety For Kids and the My Safe Life program. To learn all about them, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-844-373-1024 or email us at [email protected]. You may also fill out the form on our Contact page!