What Danger Does the East Asian Tick Pose to People in North Carolina?

east asian tick
Image courtesy of Richard Bartz CC by-SA 2.5
The East Asian tick has been on the news because it has been found in the United States. This tick is originally from Asia. It is recognized as a highly invasive species. It multiplies rapidly. It can reproduce asexually. When the East Asian tick is found, it is usually found in large numbers. There has been a case reported where enough ticks attached to one cow that they drained the cow until it died.

Should I Be Concerned About the East Asian Tick?

The main concern at this time is that the tick will spread throughout the United States. Currently, it is not in North Carolina, but officials are not sure how quickly it will spread. It does not respond well to attempts to contain it so the chances are that it will eventually reach North Carolina. The major concern is that the East Asian tick carries SFTS, which is a dangerous virus. There is no known treatment for the virus, instead doctors will manage the symptoms as the patients go through the course of the illness.

How Do I Identify Different Types of Ticks?

It can be difficult to identify the different types of ticks. The East Asian tick is brown and does not have spots or patterns on the back. However, this is similar to other ticks. The best option is to take the tick to the doctor or to your agricultural department to have it identified. Once you remove the tick, you should place it on a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and seal it in a zipper bag. The experts can look at the tick and determine what it is. If you find a tick that you have not seen before, you should have it checked out.

What Can I Do to Prevent Tick Bites?

There are a number of things you can do to prevent tick bites. When you are going into an area that has a lot of ticks, you should wear insect repellent with DEET. Wearing long sleeves and long pants can help too. You can treat your yard for ticks, and if you are worried about your children being bitten or if you live near woods, this is a good option. The tick season is expected to be record breaking with a large outbreak in North Carolina. There are already several types of ticks in the area that can spread diseases, and you should be protecting your family from them.

How to Protect Your Pets from Fleas and Ticks

puppy in a cup Seeing your furry friends uncomfortable and irritated because of fleas and ticks will surely ruin your day. Don’t let this issue get out of hand-  take these simple steps today.

Pay attention to your pets all the time

Many people believe that fleas are only a problem on hot summer days, but this isn’t totally correct. According to many experts, certain types of fleas and ticks can breed and suck animals’ blood even in winter. That is why vets highly recommend year-round defensive measures for your vulnerable pets. Nowadays, there are many different products available to use against fleas, and pet owners have hundreds of choices. Don’t use cats’ products for dogs and vice versa, because “one man’s meat is another man’s poison”. Most importantly, ask your vet for advice and strictly follow the instructions for the best efficiency and safety. If you don’t see any results, try another brand until you find one that works. Lastly, remember to check the expiration date on the packaging.

Clean your pets regularly

wet puppies in a sink  Combing and bathing your animals frequently allows you to identify a flea infestation as soon as possible, and will give you time to find out about solutions to treat it. This step is even more important when you have just walked the dog. Always do a comb through afterwards to check for fleas and ticks. When you see even one single flea or tick, then it’s time to give your pet a warm, soapy bath. Afterwards, apply some natural repellents such as mint or lemon essential oil to keep parasites away.

Defend your home

All your efforts with your pets may be for nothing if you ignore your own home. Hygiene is the most effective way to keep your living space flea-free. Cleanliness prevents ticks and fleas from finishing their life cycle. Pay attention to any areas that your pets have contact with, such as your mattress, bed and carpets. Tick and flea larvae like these places because they are dark and they can hide away undisturbed. Although fleas may have not yet have appeared in your house, it will only be a matter of time before any developing eggs will hatch. The solution is to vacuum carpets, mattresses, and furniture regularly, and to wash bedding frequently. When you vacuum, pay special attention to any hard-to-reach corners.  In addition, bear in mind that fleas can jump into your house via the windows or a balcony. To prevent this, plant some containers with mint in them or install glass screens to avoid this situation.

Protect your garden

dog with a ball On a sunny spring or summer day, nobody wants to miss out on a chance to sunbathe in their beautiful garden. Unfortunately, however, most gardens are full of favorable conditions for fleas and ticks to hide and breed. There’s no way of keeping your garden completely flea-free, but you can keep them away from your pets. Firstly, don’t let your lawn get too long. Fleas hate to be exposed to sunlight, therefore, keep your grass short and don’t hesitate to prune your trees and let more sunlight through. Secondly, put up a wall or fence to minimize the risk of your pets coming into contact with other strange animals. Just one unexpected guest can become the cause of a serious flea infestation. Thirdly, never allow your garden to become messy with a lot of rubbish like rotten leaves, bottles, overgrown shrubs, or other debris. Last but not least, grow different kinds of mint in the area close to your house to repel fleas. We are sure that they will move as far away as possible to avoid the offensive fragrance.

To sum up

We hope that you have now learned some useful tips on how to protect your pets, your home and your family. Keep your eyes on your pets themselves, as well as both the inside and outside of your house. Apply these useful tips and you should never have to worry about flea infestations.