By Marisa Thomas
When spring begins, many things start to appear: flowers, birds and unfortunately ticks. So, before going on a spring hike or nature walk, what’s the best way to avoid them?
“The number one safety tip is going to be stay on the trail. With going off the trail, you’re going to see different insects like ticks. They really like edge habitats, tall grasses, things that are kind of up high so they can brush against your legs, and crawl up your pants and come up that way and attach,” Amy Shook, an interpretive naturalist at Asbury Woods, said.
If you’re furry companion happens to be joining you for your spring activity, then the same advice applies to them.
“And if you have pets you’re bringing along too, I know it’s really tempting to have them off trail because it is fun and there’s lots of good smells, but they’re going to get ticks going off trails as well,” Shook said.
Just like if you were to use a preventative bug spray, pets also need high-quality protection from the outside pests.
“A good flea and tick preventative is just imperative. We haven’t really had a ground freeze in this area . . . we’ve had kind of a milder winter so you definitely want to make sure [to use] prescription grade. Over-the-counter stuff just isn’t as quality as the stuff you get from your veterinarian,” Anna Shelter Founder and Director Ruth Thompson said.
Even with preparation, if those insects latch on, Thompson said there’s no need to panic.
“If you’re doing the preventative, if you do notice a tick, don’t freak out. Just definitely get it removed. If you can’t do it yourself, call your veterinarian to have it removed properly. You don’t want to leave any part of the tick embedded in the dog.” Thompson said.