As Spring approaches, Vermonters are already looking forward to the thought of enjoying their backyards again. What better time to provide some answers to the questions we hear most often regarding the control of ticks, fleas and mosquitos.
Are ticks prevalent in Vermont? YES. In 2020 alone there were almost 7,000 cases of Lyme disease reported in dogs alone! That means of those tested, more than one in six pets were positive for Lyme.
What are the most common ticks found in Vermont? The blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis), more commonly known as the deer tick, is the most abundant tick in Vermont.
Do all ticks carry disease?
No, not all ticks carry these harmful diseases, however, knowing the deer tick is the MOST common in VT the odds are not in our favor and extra precautions are recommended. Ticks continue to increase in numbers and are causing harmful diseases to both pets and people. Lyme and anasplasmosis are the two most common tick-related diseases we see in this region. These diseases lead to severe acute disease that includes our dogs developing high fevers, swollen painful joints and inappetance. In some cases, more chronic disease can occur, resulting in long-term joint issues and a severe form of kidney disease.
What can I do to control ticks in my yard?
Prevention is key to reducing the risk to people and pets. Tick control comes in the form of several parasiticides; oral chewable tablets, topical monthly spot-ons, and tick collars. In a highly infested area, a combination of the collar and either the pill or spot-on can be added protection. (Please contact the Rutland Veterinary Clinic and Surgical Center for further information at RutlandVet.com) The final layer of security is in protecting our pets’ outdoor environment. This has the added benefit of protecting the people we love as well. The environmental treatment of backyards and wooded or leafy areas to reduce the overall tick burden in our yards and around our homes is safe and effective.
We see lots of signs of mice. What’s the connection to ticks?
Mice play a significant roll in the life cycle of the tick and the diseases they carry. A unique product called Thermacell has been developed and is becoming popular for its ease of use and effectiveness. Thermacell is a tube packed with cotton impregnated with pyrethrins, a highly effective parasiticide which kills ticks. These tubes can be placed in areas around the home such as planters, flower beds and wood piles. If mice are present in the landscape, then they typically are attracted by this nesting material. If the tubes are placed in areas harboring mice, the mice steal the treated nesting material and place it in their nests. Once mice have treated nests, they almost never are infested with ticks.
In addition to veterinarian-recommended tick prevention treatments for your pets, Carpenter & Costin delivers the additional layer of protection for you and your pets through treatment of your outdoor property. Over the past few years, Carpenter and Costin has introduced a treatment for ticks, fleas and mosquito control that will make your backyard much more pleasant for you – and your pets – by keeping it safe from these annoying and dangerous pests.
How is it applied? We apply an FDA approved organic treatment to backyard greenery for the control of fleas, ticks and mosquitos. We apply it using the newest spraying equipment, so it is safe for pets as soon as it dries, typically just an hour or two when the humidity is low. We treat the shrubs around the foundation of the house, woodpiles, any loose debris piles around the property, wood line edges, any places that would harbor ticks that love moist environments, like shady places and unkept areas.
What is the tick treatment for backyards comprised of? Our tick treatment for properties is completely organic so it is totally harmless to pets, people, shrubs, flowers, or plants. It is, however, toxic to fleas, ticks, and mosquitos. It consists of an essential oil derived from conifer trees (trees that bear cones and needle-like leaves) of the pine or cypress families. It has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and is considered safe enough by the FDA (Food & Drug Admin) to be used as a food preservative. The ancient Egyptians even used it in their embalming practices because it kept away insects!
How often should backyards be treated for ticks and mosquitos? We recommend treating your property where pets, children, and adults wander, every month throughout the Spring/Summer and Fall. This will help keep encroaching pests at bay and keep your pets, family and friends safest.
Do ticks infect people and pets anytime other than summer? YES. In fact, the greatest activity in ticks occurs in the Fall when wet leaves are piling up, providing many places to breed and quest while awaiting their next host. Pets and people should be protected year-round from these pests.
Do cats get ticks? YES. Everyone knows dogs get ticks, but it is only a myth that cats do not get ticks. Cats are quite susceptible to ticks when not treated to prevent them.
Please feel free to reach out to Carpenter & Costin for a free, no-obligation quote on adding another layer of tick protection for your 4 and 2 legged family members, in addition to your veterinarian’s recommendations.