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1082 Main St. / Kingfield, ME 04947 / (207) 265-2214

Ticks and their Friends

June 8, 2023

With spring comes sunshine, balmy days, mud and pests!

Ticks are out and looking for food as soon as there is bare ground and they live and reproduce outside until the ground is covered with snow again. Ticks are sometimes a serious problem. Dog Ticks, common everywhere, are frequently assumed to not cause disease in humans or pets, but this is an error. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can be carried by deer ticks. Both dogs and humans get RMSF. It’s pretty important to not only keep the ticks off your pet, but also prevent your pet from carrying the tick into your house, where you might get bitten. Vectra is a topical product that both repels ticks, fleas and mosquitos. (More about products in Blog #4)

The Deer Tick is famous for causing Lyme disease. They may carry several other severe and possibly fatal diseases such as Powassan Fever, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Anaplasmosis, and Borreliosis. Again, humans and pets can catch any of these diseases, which are severe and sometimes fatal.

The Lone Star tick, once only found in the South, is now in our area. Like the Deer Tick it also carries the organisms that cause several of the same deadly fevers. It also can cause an allergic reaction in humans, cows, bison, deer, pigs and sheep. This allergy is toward red meat and dairy products and will stay with the affected person or animal for life.

Then the black flies come. While they don’t cause any diseases for your pets, they can sure bite and make them uncomfortable. For animals that spend a lot of time outdoors, this is a big issue. There are no products specifically designed to repel black flies but some of the topical flea products do so. Then mosquitos. Mosquitos are very important because they carry the organism that can cause heartworm in dogs and, rarely, cats. More about heartworm another day.

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