Continue Learning About Those Bugs

Hello! It's me Vicky and I hope you all had a fabulous day surrounded by your furry best friends!

I want to take a few minutes and share more about what I am reading on the issue of those crazy nasty, creepy crawly ticks.

If you are like me, I am already doing tick checks every single time my girls come in from outside. We still have over a foot of snow in our backyard and yet, I know they are there, lurking and waiting. 

I want to spend our short spring and summer outside enjoying our time and I want you to enjoy your outside time too, so I have been doing more reading and learning, because knowledge is power. 

First, not all ticks carry Lyme disease. The primary carrier of Lyme disease is the Blacklegged Tick, also called the deer or bear tick. The tick acquires the Lyme disease bacterium when it feeds on an animal that has been infected, like deer, rabbits and mice, then it transmits the bacterium to the next warm body it can crawl onto. 

Now I know when I see hawks, eagles and even crows flying around our home they are helping to control the tick population by feasting on the mice, and other rodents that carry them.

Dr. Kirby Stafford, a chief scientist of the Department of Entomology at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, is quoted as saying, once temperatures reach even 40 degress the adult ticks are moving. That is now!!!!

I do not have stats for this past year, but in 2009 the website, researchednutritionals.com, states that more then 4,000 ticks feeding on humans in Connecticut, were submitted to the lab and of those, approximately 1800 were tested and about 37 percent were found to be Lyme disease carriers. The numbers are growing rapidly.

Let's take a minute and again realize that we do not need to go into panic over Lyme. That is why I am writing this blog post for you and for me. It's about education to make informed decisions.

Do you know that Lyme disease has been identified since 1975. Yup, Lyme disease has been here among us for over forty years!!!! 

With social media and our constant ability to get news within the amount of time we can type a sentence, has lead us to hearing more and more and more.

So why are we being invaded? Our main issue is, climate change. 

As the climate warms, it is pushing the timing of tick nymphs and larvae forward, potentially changing the interactions they have with the animals (and humans) they live on. Studies are showing that as many as one out of four blacklegged tick nymphs carry Lyme. 

One theory, based on Canadian researchers, says that warming causes tick life cycles to speed up, allowing more to survive and reproduce. Their study shows that warmer temperatures increased tick reproduction two to five times in Canada and up to twice as much in the United States compared to other factors such as where we choose to live and being near wooded grassy areas. 

Since ticks can not fly or jump, they hang out and wait to crawl on. They live in high grass areas, wooded areas and will hang out on your lawn. Basically anywhere there is grass there are ticks.

So what do we do? 

We can spray ourselves with chemicals to keep them off us humans. We can purchase preventatives at our veterinary office. We can use natural solutions like essential oils.

What is best?

I truly wish I had an answer. Is essential oil treatment enough? This is a question I ask every day. 

My fear? Will the preventitives we willingly purchase at the vets office cause long term damage to their health? Are they a cause of heart failure and or cancer? 

These are questions I am searching for an answer to. I believe that in some cases the answer is yes. 

As my Zoey lays beside my chair as I type this I am passionate about doing what is safest and best for her and for our Haley dog too! I want all the animals in our world to be healthy and disease free. I know that is a big bite to chew, but it is honest. 

Here is my question for you to ponder. 

"With the number of cases of Lyme disease growing at alarming rates every year, especially in the northeast, is the risk of health issues from preventitives, like Bravecto, Frontline Plus or Parastar Plus worth taking?"

I would love to hear your thoughts and plans. We are all in this together and our one main goal is to have happy, healthy, safe furry best friends, and of course, keep ourselves safe as well.

*One thing I do know, if a tick should become attached to you, a loved one, or a pet....a drop or two of doTerra Peppermint oil directly on the tick will force him to back out and you can remove him and take him to be tested. Ticks along with spiders and many other creepy crawlies hate peppermint. 

Be safe and smart.

Until next time hand to paw,

Vicky