TYLER, Texas (KETK) – As warm weather returns to East Texas, many bugs and insects, including the tick, are coming back.
Ticks carry diseases and can give people Lyme disease. According to infectious diseases expert, Richard Wallace, ticks can also transmit a disease that not many people know about.
“The only tick disease I’ve ever seen in this part of the country if people who’ve got Ehrlichia,” Wallace said.
Although the CDC said ticks can’t jump or fly, ticks can attach to someone in other ways. The ticks wait in a position called “questing” and hold onto leaves or grass before climbing onto someone’s skin.
Tick-born diseases are actually more common that mosquito-born diseases, according to DSHS Zoonosis Control Veterinarian. Tick-born diseases happen nationwide whereas mosquito-born diseases tend to be more of an outbreak situation.
Some ways to prepare and prevent for the pests are to treat and groom yards with pesticides. Also tucking your pants into socks when walking in tall grassy areas. For pets using a good tick preventative can help.
For pets, veterinarians see tick infestations every day when Spring arrives.
“People bring their dogs in to have them bathed and dipped and things like that,” Veterinarian Dr. Gary Spence said. “We’re gonna have a a pretty severe tick season unfortunately.”
In addition to keeping your pets safe by using preventative measures, a recent study said that flea and tick collars could be hurting them.
After looking over thousands of federal documents from the Environmental Protection Agency, investigators learned there have been more than 75,000 complaints about the Seresto brand flea and tick collar over the past nine years. They found that nearly 1,700 dogs and cats wearing the collar have died.
Elanco Animal Health pharmaceutical company recently bought Bayer Animal Health, which created the collar with the brand name Seresto. Elanco now sells it. It uses two types of pesticides to kill fleas and ticks, releasing small amounts of chemicals onto your pet over time. Investigators found evidence the collar might be killing dogs and cats.
The EPA, which regulates products with pesticides, responded by saying it believes the collar is still safe enough, noting that some warnings exist on the product’s packaging. Despite the complaints, the product will stay on the market.
An EPA spokesperson said some pets just may be more sensitive to this particular pesticide combination than others.
The EPA has never warned the public about this Seresto product, and there is no evidence to think the agency will anytime soon.
Not only are pets having problems with the Seresto flea and tick collar. Humans might be, too. More than 1,000 people have reported health problems from it, mostly rashes.
Almost all flea and tick collars contain pesticides, so if your dog or cat is having health problems, consult your vet before using chemicals in tandem.
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