Whether it’s chilly or sizzling out, most of our furry companions love being outdoors. In fact, it can be difficult to get your animals to come back inside at times.

Still, letting your pets explore outside the four walls of your house is great for their mood and overall well-being. Unfortunately, it’s also easy for unwanted pests to latch on. In your yard or on the trail, your pets are at risk for some nasty, disease-spreading creatures, the worst of them all being ticks.

Northeast Pennsylvania is one of the worst areas for these blood-sucking parasites, and they can be extremely dangerous if they happen to latch on you or one of your furry friends. Don’t give up on going outdoors just yet; we have a few ways you can protect yourself and your pets from ticks.

The most common tick species found in Northeast Pennsylvania are the American Dog Tick, the Brown Dog Tick, and the Blacklegged tick.

Knowing the Enemy

Ticks may be small, but they can carry some devastating problems. These eight-legged parasites can be as small as a pepper flake and are often brown, black, or reddish-brown. The most common tick species found in Northeast Pennsylvania are the American Dog Tick, the Brown Dog Tick, and the Blacklegged tick, also known as the Deer Tick. 

While ticks cannot fly or jump, they can climb to high points and grab on any passersby quite easily. Once they latch and begin to feed, they drink until bloated.

Afterward, they will leave behind a nasty bite mark, and possibly some threatening diseases like Lyme Disease, Ehrlichia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Canine Anaplasmosis. These illnesses are not limited to pets and can easily be transferred to humans as well. The best way to combat a tick problem is by protecting yourself and your pets. Here are the top seven ways to put a stop to ticks.

1. Use treatments to protect your pets.

This is one of the easiest, though one of the more expensive, ways to help protect your dogs, cats, and other pets from ticks. Depending on your vet’s recommendation, you can find a variety of prescription and over-the-counter treatments that can help repel and kill ticks.

Tick treatments come in a variety. You can purchase a treated collar, a topical ointment, or even give your pet a monthly chew. While the effectiveness of these treatments may vary based on the tick’s immunity, the right options should help keep your pets tick-free. Plus, many of these treatments work on fleas and mites as well.

One thing to keep in mind is that multiple pet households should have treatments for all pets, regardless of if they are indoor or outdoor pets. If one pet is allowed outside, it can easily bring in pests inside to your other pets. Also, when selecting a treatment, be sure to check the labels; some topical treatments for dogs may be harmful to cats and children.

2. Check your animals daily or more.

Depending on how often you have them out and where you live, you should be checking your pets daily. Whether you want to give them a quick brushing or an all-over body check, you want to be sure they aren’t bringing any unwanted pests inside. If you live near woods or in areas with unkempt growth, it’s a good idea to check multiple times.

If your pet has a ton of hair or a particularly thick coat, check all the hot spots: under the collar, behind the ears, under the tail, and on the belly. Ticks are drawn to dark, warm areas. So, check between the toes, by the ground, and lower extremities where ticks can grab on.

3. Keep ticks off yourself.

Don’t forget, ticks like human blood too! It’s possible that you could have one of these pesky hitchhikers on your body, and you could very well pass it on to your pet. If you’re heading outside, be sure to apply bug spray containing DEET. Wear long sleeves and pants, especially when gardening or hiking. Aim for lighter colors; it’s easier to spot those stowaways. 

4. Keep the lawn mowed.

Believe it or not, you don’t have to go into the deep woods to find ticks. You can easily find them in your own backyard. Ticks are drawn to overgrown and tall grass is a prime spot for them to hang out. 

Most ticks climb on their hosts at the feet, and high grass is a great way for them to find a blood meal. To protect your animals and yourself, keep the grass cut and short. Ticks will have a tougher time reaching out from low-cut grass.

Spotting a tick under all that fur can be difficult.

5. Trim the verge.

Likewise, if your property has heavy growth, bushes, or vines, it’s a good idea to keep these spots under control. If you want to keep the esthetic, be sure to section off any areas and keep your pets far away.

In instances where you can’t control nature around you, try to keep your pets away from overgrowth. On trails and during hiking trips, try and keep your pet in the center of the path. 

6. Bathe your pet regularly.

Spotting a tick under all that fur can be difficult. However, when your pet is wet, it can be much easier to spot any ticks that may have hidden away. A nice bath can also wash away any parasites that haven’t latched. If you are returning from a hiking trip, a nice bath is a great way to do a full-body check on your pup. 

7. Have your pet tested annually.

Pennsylvania is currently the worst state for Deer ticks, known for carrying Lyme Disease. Even the most vigilant pet owners can make mistakes or forget sometimes. If you are a frequent hiker, have a pet that loves being outside, or live in a tick hotspot, it’s wise to get your pet tested yearly. 

In addition to getting your pet tested, you can opt for vaccines to help prevent tick-borne diseases, like Lyme. Sometimes the best way to protect your pet is by being proactive.

Protecting your Pets for Life

We love our furry companions and want only the best for them. You don’t have to avoid their favorite outdoor activities out tick fear. Be prepared and do your part to protect yourself and your pets from these pesky pests. If you want to make your yard tick-free, consider reaching out to a pest control expert.



Pest Issues? Contact The Pest Rangers Today.