Managing the Tick Risk

Hello to our camping friends!  Looks like a great summer coming to Cape May this year; the weather has been great as of late and hopefully will continue for the next few months.

As most of you know Holly Shores is located just off Route 9, 4 miles between Cape May and Wildwood, New Jersey.  The campground is loaded with some of the largest trees in Cape May County that provide shade in the summer and a fine habitat for birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects.

My sister, Patricia, is the owner of the Wagging Tale Pet Supply just one mile north of Holly Shores on Route 9.  Anything and everything your pet could need is available at her shop.  She also writes regular articles in our local pet newspaper.  Her recent is important and a reminder that Holly Shores is in the woods and we need to be aware of those tiny critters that yearn to get attached to us…TICKS!

Here is a copy of the article she wrote two weeks ago:

THE TICKS ARE REALLY OUT THIS SEASON:  

Last Friday evening, I was sitting in my usual spot on the family room sofa with Bob and the dogs, when I started feeling an itchy area on my chest.  I reached under my shirt and felt something that moved against my finger.  As it was in an area, I could not see I asked Bob, “Does this look like a tick.?”  It was not engorged, and it was small.  I quickly tried to pry it loose with my fingernail, but the head was stuck.  I went into the bathroom and looking in the mirror, I dug into the area with tweezers until I got it all out.  Then I rubbed with alcohol, and then witch hazel and put triple antibiotic cream on the area and covered it with a band aid.  Four days later It is itching less, but as I had to go to the doctor’s I had her look at it.  I had been treating it every day and night.  She said to keep an eye on the area. I had done my research immediately following the tick bite and I would like to share it with you.

The risk of infection, especially concerning Lyme Disease is to remove the tick with 24-36 hours.  The longer a tick is able to feed on us or our pets, the more time bacteria and tickborne diseases can spread. “Only ticks that are attached and have finished feeding or are near the end of their meal can transmit Lyme disease.”  If the tick is flat and small like mine was, the writer says, I have nothing to worry about. My health care provider today said to watch for redness, irritation, swelling and fever.  She also mentioned, as did the article, the antibiotic Doxycycline.  But since I am taking Celebrex presently for swelling involved with my knee replacement, she put a hold on that. There is no way to tell for at least a few weeks, and sometimes up to six weeks, if you can get a positive result from a blood test.  About 80% of people will develop a rash within the first month.

If you or someone you know lives in a high-risk area for Lyme disease like we do, they should get treated right away with a preventative antibiotic. High risk areas in the Northeast are from northern Virginia up to Maine.  I am calmer removing a tick from a cat or dog than myself.  I suggest heating the end of a tweezer and then gripping the back end of the tick until the tick removes its head in an effort to get away from the heat.  Then holding the tick between the tweezer burn it until you hear a “pop” and you will know that it is dead.   You can also submerge the tick in alcohol or place between two pieces of tape. The writer of the article loves the Tick Key which we sell, as his favorite tick remover.  It is helpful to take a shower after working in tick infested places, as most will wash off if they have not had time to attach themselves.  I may have gotten the tick on me from one of my pets, as I had not been in the gardens.  I am definitely going to spray my yards with a natural tick and flea killer which just attaches to one’s hose, then spray until no foam comes out, just water.  I may need two bottles!  Just this past Monday night, I saw Rosie licking and licking herself, and when I looked she had a tick imbedded in her armpit.  We never had a problem here at home before this.

Patricia Nelson Robinson

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