The birds are chirping, the bees are buzzing and the bunnies are busy transporting ticks all over the place. Did you know that a tick, on its own will travel a measly 10 feet or so? They hang out on vegetation and wait for an unsuspecting host to cruise by, then they jump on and start snacking.
There are many kinds of ticks, but those found on Cape Cod include deer ticks and American dog ticks. These ticks can spread three main diseases: Lyme's, Babesiosis and Anaplasmosis. While the risk of a tick bite is year round on the Cape, the highest risk is from May-July.
You can click here to read all about these three tick-borne diseases (and others found in MA) and in the meantime, we'll tell you some of the things you can do to help prevent a bite from ever happening. Keep in mind, some of these treatments involve chemicals. I'm a freak about chemicals and I'm constantly conflicted as to whether or not I should use them. I don't want negative health effects from chemical use, but I also don't want tick borne diseases for me or my dogs. Which is the lesser of two evils? I'm leaving that for you to decide.
1. Keep your dog protected. We have found that in our area, we are seeing less effective results with Frontline and better results with Advantix II, however, not by much. Both are great at keeping fleas at bay. We have recently brought in Seresto and the results have been very positive. I am going to put the collars on Trix and Ripple, and will report my findings. One thing I like about the collar aside from the effectiveness is the ease of use. No messy oils to apply every 30 days. Ashley has had great success with Earth Animal Flea & Tick Program as have many many of our customers. This is a great all-natural way to prevent flea and ticks. I did not have as much success, but my two Goldens are in tall grass, deep woods and essentially every place a tick waits for them to arrive, on a daily basis.
2. Brush your dog nightly. Every night my mom used to call her dog Mollie in and say "tick check!" and Mollie would roll over and enjoy the thorough inspection. It's like a mini massage for the dogs and a great way to find those little buggers who hitchhiked in on your poor pup's fur.
3. Treat your yard. Did you watch Shark Tank a couple of weeks ago? The awesome women who founded Wondercide were on talking about this all natural organic product that works wonders. We sell Evolv in both stores and you can spray the perimeter of your yard to help prevent the ticks from making their way in. Grab a small bottle and keep it in your car, you spray it on your dog and on you before you go for a walk. I love this option as it is a safe and chemical-free way to treat ticks and fleas, but you need to use it for it to work.
4. Wear long pants! Simple and easy. This step is for you, not the dog, though I guess if you wanted to put long pants on your dog, go for it!
5. Insect Shield apparel this is clothing for you and bandanas for your dog that are treated with chemicals to keep the ticks away. We are trying to decide if we should bring this line in, would you want this for you or your pup? Let us know below. If you want it, we'll get it!
credit to the capecodcommission.org for some of the above tick information and the wallet card!