The last thing pet owners want is for their fur babies to be bitten by ticks. Ticks are tiny parasitic organisms common in animals such as dogs and cats. They usually thrive in wooded areas and fields and require blood from animals or humans to survive. While ticks are often confused with fleas, these two parasites are different. For one, ticks are much bigger than fleas and have eight legs instead of six.
A tick infestation poses a risk not only for your pets but your loved ones as well – ticks tend to be carriers of different severe diseases that may transmit to the people they bite. This includes Lyme disease, tularemia, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and tick-borne relapsing fever. Now, how do you tell if your pet is infested with ticks? Can you catch ticks by hugging or being around your beloved pet? This article answers some of the major questions you might have about ticks.
Can humans catch ticks directly from pets?
Aside from dogs and cats, humans can also be bitten by ticks. Ticks can feed on humans by attaching to their skin, which usually causes redness and irritation. Due to this, many of the diseases that can be transmitted to animals by a tick bite can also be transmitted to people.
However, it is important to note that people do not catch these diseases from their pets. Both animals and humans acquire the diseases from the ticks they pick up and come into contact with outdoors. Moreover, humans bitten by ticks typically catch them from walking through vegetation instead of interacting with their pets. Hence, there is nothing to worry about when playing with or hugging your pets.
Signs of a tick infestation
You can quickly tell that there is a tick infestation in your abode when you notice a large number of ticks on your precious pet or yourself. Ticks move rapidly across the body but prefer to stay in warm and moist areas. Thus, you can often find them in the scalp, groin, and armpits. Once the tick has found a spot to stay in, it will bite and drill its head into your skin. A tick bite is painless, so it can be challenging to identify that you have been bitten.
Sometimes, a tick infestation in your home can lead to the development of a tick-borne disease among your family members or your pet. The effect of these diseases can range from mild to severe. Some of the most common symptoms of a tick-borne illness among humans are as follows:
- Body aches similar to the flu
On the other hand, ticks in animals can cause fever, loss of appetite, swollen lymph nodes, depression, renal failure, and even paralysis. For this reason, it is vital to be aware of and attentive to the signs of a tick infestation among your pet, including the following:
- Licking or chewing at a specific area of its body
- Red and inflamed skin
- Random scabs on the pet’s body
- Head shaking
How to prevent or control a tick infestation
To prevent a tick infestation in your home, you should always check yourself and your pet before coming inside the house – this is especially so if you live in an area where ticks are common. If you are about to hike on trails or wooded areas, consider wearing long-sleeve shirts and tucking your pants into your socks. You should also ideally use an insect repellent that works effectively against ticks.
For your home and the areas near it to be tick-free, it is recommended for you to try to make the surroundings as unsuitable for ticks as possible. Ticks do not like dry, sunny environments and cannot thrive in short vegetation. Therefore, maintaining the grass on your property can help eliminate ticks near your home, should you live in areas with a lawn. If your house is already infested with ticks, the best course of action is to hire the services of professional pest control in Singapore.
The diseases ticks can transmit to you as well as your pet are the primary reason why it is essential to ensure no ticks are present in your home. You can do this by regularly maintaining your surroundings and taking several steps to prevent ticks from attaching to you or your pet. However, contrary to popular assumption, it is highly unlikely that you will catch ticks directly from your dog or cat. Hence, interacting with your pet should not be a cause of concern, even if they have ticks.
Whether you suspect your pet is being infested with ticks or are dealing with some other pest infestation, PestClinic is here to help you solve the problem! We offer a variety of effective pest control services, including cockroaches, flies, bed bugs, and termite control in Singapore. With our specialised service personnel trained and certified by the National Environment Agency (NEA), you can assure safe and successful pest control solutions. Feel free to contact us for more information about our services!