Fleas, Ticks & Bugs

How to control and kill ticks – Part 3

Ticks are amazingly efficient at surviving almost any attack. The rate of propagation and resistance to insecticides is phenomenal to say the least. In heated kennels and homes, ticks breed all year round. When the weather is cold, they’ll withdraw to cracks and crevices to await warmer times.

Since it takes twenty to thirty days for eggs to hatch, an infested home should be treated at ten-day intervals, at least four times, then once a month for two or three months. Sprays and insecticides used should be marked as an ‘acaracide’. Other insecticides appear to have little-to-no effect.

Usually it is only necessary to spray as high as two or three feet from the floor up the walls (unless tick infestation is heavy). If the family dog is accustomed to sleeping on the sofa or in overstuffed chairs, spraying should include those areas, paying particular attention to cushions as well as the edges of rugs and baseboards.

To man, the tick represents the disease known as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Originally, it was thought that the disease was restricted to the region of the Rocky Mountains – thus its name. However, it is not regional at all, and may be acquired over a considerable portion of the United States, east and west, and even in Canada. (The tick is also responsible for “rabbit fever” in rodents, which is transmissible to man.)

In the southern portion of the United States, as well as in France and Africa, there is an intestinal protozoan parasite ‘Babesia’  which attacks blood cells in a dog and causes extreme anemia. This protozoan is spread from dog to dog by ticks. Heavy infestation of ticks upon a dog can cause an extreme loss of blood, anemia, paralysis, and even death.

Flea and tick collars are available commercially, but while such collars might eventually cause the tick to die, much damage and infestation can be done in the interim. Veterinarians can also prescribe tablets, which, when given to a dog, ensure that any tick that bites the dog will die.

The consequences of tick infestation should dictate the importance of tick control in homes and kennels. The approach of warmer weather signals the approach of Rhipicephalus Sanquineus. Now if THAT sounds like a blood-sucking monster from a science fiction movie, you’re partially right. Blood sucking monster? Yes! Science fiction? No way!