The experts predict that this year's tick season will be one of the worst so far, and when a tick bites, Lyme disease lurks. It is time to get proactive and battle those ticks before they get a chance to attach themselves to your family and pets.
The war against ticks just got a lot easier in homes across tick-infested states with a very ordinary tool that you most likely have around your own home. Animal lovers in the New England states are all too acquainted with that dreaded blood sucking tick and the Lyme diseases that it carries.
You and your pets can't get Lyme disease if a tick doesn't bite, so it is time to stop them before they get a chance to do so. You can do this today with a simple lint brush. As pictured below, it is not a pretty sight, but it is a lot better to look at ticks on a lint brush than to have to pull them off your family and pets after they've attached themselves for their blood feeding.
It should not be just any lint brush that you use. It needs to have tape, like those cheap lint brushes you find in most stores that are nothing more than a wide cylinder of tape that you throw away piece-by-piece as you use them. According to Ron, who is the co-owner of the Country Clipper Groomers with his wife Sara, he is recommending using a tape-style lint brush on all your pets as they come in from the outside.
The Country Clipper is in Westfield, Massachusetts, which is in a part of the nation that is saturated with ticks each year. As groomers, both Ron and Sara see their fair share of ticks each season on the animals they groom. According to Ron, it takes 24 hours of a tick being attached to your pet before the threat of Lyme disease comes into play. The Weather Network reports that "while a tick must feed for 24 hours to transmit Lyme disease, other bacteria such as ehrlichia can be transmitted in as little as three hours."
Ron makes sure to say that he didn't come up with the idea of using a lint brush; it was a tip given to him by a group of groomers they communicate with. He also said that after he recommends this tip to other pet owners, he hears back from them raving about just how good a lint brush works.
It is changing the game for tick hunting on your animals. The topical tick repellents, the kind that you dot down your pets' spine will stop ticks from biting the skin, but it won't stop the ticks from falling onto your pet from the tall grass and bushes they pass by. This product does seem to help repel ticks from biting, but it doesn't stop their initial introduction to your pet. The ticks will still fall on their coat and your pet can still bring them in the house. The lint brush trick takes care of those blood suckers so they don't fall off on the furniture and attach themselves to a member of your family.
Simply running a lint brush up and down your pet's coat will remove any of the ticks that happened to fall on them while they are outside. Ticks fall from tall grass, bushes and low-lying branches of trees onto you and your pet as they walk by. They don't immediately attach themselves to the flesh of the pet or person, so getting them off your pet's coat or your clothes should be easy when you first come into the house. As seen below, some ticks are so tiny that it is almost impossible to see them on the white background of this lint-brush tape, never mind trying to spot them on your pet's coat. The Weather Network reports that some ticks are so tiny that before certain ticks feed, they are "about the size of a fleck of pepper."
The lint brush is an added tick-fighting tool, so still continue with the traditional tick treatment of drops, sprays, collars, and tick vaccinations that are recommended by your vet. It can't hurt to be safe by adding this lint brush trick to your daily care of your pet and the rest of your family if you live in an area of the nation where ticks are found.
According to the Wall Street Journal, scientists warn that big deer and mice populations mean more ticks and a higher incidence of Lyme disease this year. They report that this year is "worse than ever" when it comes to ticks. Massachusetts' neighboring state, Connecticut, is already reporting a higher number of ticks carrying the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium, which is what causes the tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease.
According to AOL News, it is mice that transmit most of the Lyme disease to ticks in the Northeast states. It is as simple as ticks feeding on the infected mice and carrying the Lyme disease to other unsuspecting entities, whether that be your pet or a person. Back in the 1980s, only southern New England and western Wisconsin had to worry about the ticks carrying Lyme disease, but today it is found in different areas all over the nation.
According to AOL News, the CDC reports that cases of Lyme disease are spreading nationwide today. The first tell-tale sign for humans that they've contracted Lyme is a red bulls-eye rash around the area of the tick bite, but you don't always have to have a bulls eye present if you've contracted Lyme disease. The earliest physical symptoms mimic the flu, so that is something to keep in mind. Lyme disease that goes undiagnosed can cause a multitude of health problems, affecting everything from your heart to your joints.
Continue with all your tick fighting products for your pets, as a lint brush doesn't replace the drops, sprays, shots, and collars. Use the lint brush to help rid ticks from your pet's coats, which are the ticks that can come in on your pet and fall off in your house. You will be amazed what that sticky-tape lint brush pulls off your pet's coat. Some of the ticks are so small they can fit on a head of a pin, so that sticky tape will also take care of the ticks that are hard to see.
[Featured Image by Victoria Arocho/AP Images]