No one likes them but the Ticks are back!
The mild weather has unleashed those nasty Ticks a little early across Canada this year. They are just waiting to latch on to you or your dog so here is a few tips to keep you tick free. Ticks climb up on blades of grass, twigs or shrubs where they hang out, waiting for you and your dog to come hiking down the trail. You’re likely to find more ticks in moist, shady areas like where a grassy field meets a section of woods, but deer and human trails are also a common place to find ticks. Keeping your dog on a leash and walking in the middle of the trail will help reduce the chance of picking up ticks from the longer grasses. These eight-legged parasitic arachnids come in a variety of types and sizes and some carry diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Ehrlichiosis. What can you do to help prevent these little beasts from latching onto you? My best tick defense is wearing light colored hiking shoes, socks, pants, shirt and hat — light colors make for easy tick detection while hiking. Also, be sure to tuck your pant legs into your socks before the hike, since ticks usually tend to crawl upwards. Be sure to do a tick check (best with a partner) before getting back into the car after the hike. I carry a lint roller and go over my clothing and my dog where the sticky tape helps pick up hitch hiking ticks that may be on either of you. Make sure to feel your dog over for any ticks that may have started to latch on so they can be easily removed before heading home. Recheck after exiting your car once home and then again in the shower and be sure to wash your hiking clothes at the end of the day. A good brushing for your dog once home will also help and keep an eye on Fido for any bumps or unusual scratching, there may be a tick attached.
Proper dress and awareness will help keep you and your pet tick free while hiking our beautiful Canadian trails.
Tick Removal Tip: If you or your pet get a tick latched onto you, grab a pair of latex gloves, put some dish soap over the tick, rub in a circular motion, pull tick out with tweezers or a tick removal tool. I always clean the area the tick was and put a dab of Polysporin on the bite mark to help prevent infection.