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Hot spring brings more fleas and ticks

Pet owners should take precautions

POSTED: April 1, 2012 11:30 p.m.

er than usual this year in Northeast Georgia.

The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia and Hall County Animal Control are already reporting dogs coming in with ticks on them.

“We have already been pulling some off dogs,” Officer David Jones, assistant director of Animal Services, said. “That in itself is not normal for March.”

“We have never seen ticks that early,” Rick Aiken, president of the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia, said. “We’re seeing fleas, too.”

Both agree the unusually high temperatures experienced in March are to blame. The worst time of the year for ticks and fleas usually is summer. The lack of colder temperatures this year has caused them to appear earlier.

“Without the good cold snap, it doesn’t help kill any off,” Jones said.

Mosquitoes will be another big problem for pets as they can transmit heartworms.

“It’s going to be probably a worse year for insects in general,” Jones said.

Both Jones and Aiken recommended getting dogs on preventative treatments and heartworm preventative care.

“As long as people are aware, there’s a lot of preventative care out there.” Aiken said. “You have to keep up with it.”

Pet owners should also check their pets for ticks because sometimes they can latch onto spots where they can’t easily be seen. Aiken said the ears and in-between toes are where you can find ticks most often.

“You have to be cautious about finding them on your pets and them getting on you,” Aiken said.

Ticks and fleas can also get on people. Along with pet owners, anyone who spends time outside in the lawn or hiking can pick up ticks. Jones said people should put on insect repellent when they go outdoors.

“The likelihood is greater now than in the past,” he said about the chances of picking up ticks.

Aiken recommended checking yourself or having someone else check you for ticks each night before going to bed.

You should also check your hair by combing it out. He said parents should check their children as well.

With the summer approaching, the temperature will get even warmer bringing more ticks and fleas. Jones and Aiken both said they expect to see more cases of ticks and fleas on pets.

“It’s going to be an interesting summer,” Aiken said.


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