Knoxville expert gives tips for dealing with ticks

Knoxville expert gives tips for dealing with ticks

6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - It's that time of year when you might be noticing ticks on yourself, or your pets. They're more than a nuisance, the parasites can transmit several illnesses, from Lyme disease to Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Pet owners like Carolyn Wisniewski and Eric Larson love taking their dogs to the park, but it's a place where ticks can easily be picked up.

"We are using the Seresto collar, which is fairly new, recommended by our vet. It's just a collar that lasts about eight months and should prevent ticks and fleas," Wisniewski said.

Rick Gerhold studies parasites at the University of Tennessee. He says there are two common types of ticks in Tennessee, the Lonestar tick and the American Dog tick.
"Right now we're not sure exactly where the tick population is going this spring, we definitely know they're out. Our cold winter may have dampened it a little bit, but I've definitely pulled ticks off my dogs so far this year," Gerhold said.

He recommends checking your pets at least once a day for ticks, and if you find one make sure you pull off the whole body. 

"If you pull up real quick and jerk it up, what you sometimes can do is leave the mouth part of the tick in the animal and that can lead to a lot of issues, Gerhold said.

When checking your dog for ticks, he says to make sure to look inside their ears, and thoroughly check each of their paws. He recommends contacting your veterinarian for prevention and treatment options.

To help keep ticks off of yourself, Gerhold says to wear bug spray when you're outside, keep your grass cut short and try to wear light colored clothing so they can be easily spotted.
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