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While we celebrate the return of summer weather and all the outdoor activities that come with it, there are some downsides to all of that outdoor adventure — ticks.

Last year was a bad year for tick bites, and experts say this year is shaping up to be just as bad. Ticks, of course, can cause serious illnesses in pets and humans, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The bite itself can cause itching and scratching, and if enough ticks attach themselves to your pet, their feeding can result in anemia.

Here are some tips for having a tickless summer.

Avoiding areas where ticks hang out is probably the best preventative. When ticks aren’t attaching to warm-blooded creatures, they reside on plants, primarily taller grasses where they wait for an unsuspecting human or animal to walk by and brush up against the plants.
When hiking, don’t let your dog wander off paths or romp through tall grass or through brush.
Check your yard for ticks. Cut grass and, if necessary, treat your landscape with a pesticide. If you’re like me and don’t want to use chemicals, create a 3-foot buffer between the lawn and any wooded area using mulch, wood chips or gravel.
Discourage wild animals from hanging out in your yard by removing things that attract them, including pet food left out overnight and water sources.
Make it a practice to check your pets for ticks whenever they’ve been outside.
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Feeding your pet garlic is a popular home tick repellent, but it should be used sparingly and with caution. Garlic is a member of the Allium family, along with onions, chives and leeks, all of which can be harmful — and sometimes …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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