26 Jul South Florida tick season
The South Florida flea and tick season is here, and it’s a good time to think about your pet’s health.
Black-Legged Tick: This tick is the most common in Florida, and it can transmit the bacteria that causes Lyme disease to dogs. If you find large numbers of black-legged ticks on your dog and you live in an endemic area, talk to your veterinarian about getting a preventative vaccine for Lyme disease.
Lone Star Tick: The lone star tick has been identified as a carrier of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in humans, but there is no evidence that it can transmit this bacterium to dogs.
Brown Dog Tick: This species can carry canine babesiosis, which is similar to human malaria.
American Dog Tick: The American dog tick feeds on both wild and domestic animals including dogs, cats, horses and cows and can transmit Tularemia (rabbit fever) if they bite an infected animal or human.
Gulf Coast Tick: This species can carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tularemia (rabbit fever).
There are a few things you can do if you find a tick inside your home.
First, try to remove the tick without touching it. This can be difficult, as ticks tend to bite and attach themselves to the skin of their host. If you cannot remove the tick without touching it, consider wearing rubber gloves when handling it.
After removing the tick, use tweezers or forceps to pick up any remaining parts of its body (including its mouthparts) and place them in rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer. This will kill them. Then wash your hands thoroughly with soap and clean water, especially under your fingernails where ticks like to hide out while waiting for their next host.
If you have children or pets at home who might come into contact with these items after they have been put into this container, keep them out of reach until they have been discarded safely outside of your home.
The best way to do this is to get a tick identification kit from your local health clinic or pharmacy. These kits will come with instructions on how to check your dog or cat for ticks properly. If you don’t have any pets, you can also search online for pictures of ticks that look similar to what’s been found in your home so that you can determine if they’re native to the area or not.