It’s surprising, but true. Most of us think of bugs being most prevalent in the spring, when life is emerging and looking for ways to move about the world. But ticks are on a different schedule.
They emerge as their adult selves and take to hopping onto hosts (roughly three feet from the ground) right around this time of year – so it’s important to keep your tick protection ramped up into the first snow.
According to the American Lyme Disease Foundation, “Of adult (ticks) sampled in highly endemic areas of the northeast, 50% have been found to carry the Lyme disease spirochete.”
There’s some good news, though: “…few cases of Lyme disease are acquired from adult tick bites because they are relatively large (about the size of an apple seed) and attached ticks are usually found and removed before spirochete transmission occurs (more than 36 hrs).”
How do I protect my pets?
There are a few steps you can take to protect your pets from ticks in the fall. Your most important weapon of defense is prevention.
Only frequent areas with very short grass or foliage to avoid ticks’ jumping off points. Choose a product that naturally repels pests like Vetri-Repel spray or wipes.
And finally, do a full-body inspection upon returning home. If you can spot a tick right away after an outing, both you and your pet have a very decent shot of avoiding the diseases it may bear.
Of course, removal is always a task, and not everyone is an expert. To safely and fully remove a tick, we suggest consulting the ASPCA’s guide here. A follow up with your vet can also help put your mind at ease.