Needles from Christmas trees are more harmful to pets than the possibility of ticks. (Colleen Flanagan – THE NEWS)

Be aware of ticks when chopping down Christmas trees

Potential for ticks to transfer to clothing

Beware of ticks when looking for real Christmas trees this year.

A post on Facebook by an Albertan animal clinic shows a tick in a tube, apparently transported into a home by a person after shopping for a live Christmas tree.

Although it is uncommon for ticks to be transported via Christmas trees, said the post by the Cochrane Animal Clinic, it goes on to say that ticks can be active at temperatures greater than 4 C and transfer from vegetation to hosts while completing their life cycle.

Jim Wilson, president of the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation, has heard stories himself about people coming into contact with ticks after cutting down a Christmas tree and that’s why, he says, it’s important to be tick aware.

RELATED: Living in the Lymefight

He says that anyone looking at getting a live Christmas tree is venturing out into tick habitat.

But, he says, the potential is more likely that ticks will attach themselves to the clothing you are wearing and not the Christmas tree.

Wilson says if you are an outdoors person by nature you can invest in clothing that are insect repellent. But for a quick trip to a farm to get a Christmas tree you can purchase a spray with an ingredient called icaridin in it.

He said with the warmer temperatures that his organization is anticipating a rise in tick populations right across the country.

And he wants people to know that no tick is a good tick. Lyme disease, he says, is one of several diseases a tick can carry.

RELATED: Check pets

“It doesn’t matter what species it is. If it bites you it’s very likely carrying pathogens you don’t want,” he said.

One piece of advice he has for people looking at real trees this year is putting your clothing into the dryer immediately when you go home.

“Dryer for 15 minutes will kill any tick,” he said.

Dr. Adrian Walton, with the Dewdney Animal Hospital, says that while it is possible to transport a tick into your house from live Christmas tree shopping, it’s not common.

He said that ticks will not be in trees at this time of the year, but in warm pockets in the ground.

Walton says more worrisome are the needles that fall off the tree and the harm they can do to a pet if they are inhaled.

“They will have discharge and they will wind up having puss come out of their nose and you literally have to put a camera up there to grab the foreign body and pull it out,” said Walton.

The Maple Ridge veterinarian added that you can keep an eye out for bulls-eye rashes that appear on the skin when bitten by a tick.

However, he said, ticks are out 24/7 all winter long, so pet owners should be checking your dogs anyway.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Guest Column: COVID-19 greatest challenge of a generation

We’ve rapidly moved from business as usual, to a series of measures that are anything but normal.

Short-term plan in place for Cowichan Valley’s homeless during COVID-19 crisis

Plan calls for use of emergency shelters, motels, hotels and tent sites

Lake Flashback: New editor, new design, and recurring vandalism

Changes at Lake Cowichan papers and damage to business and services a theme in late March

Drivesmart column: Are we perpetuating mediocrity with how we teach young drivers?

If the teacher is ill equipped to teach, the new driver will not learn what is necessary

As 240K apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

COVID-19 world update: 1,000 cases hit U.S. military; Good news in Spain, Portugal

Comprehensive collection of coronavirus news from around the world

Vancouver Island teen singer advances to American Idol top 20

Lauren Spencer-Smith performs Respect at outdoor concert in Hawaii

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open this week

Bars, cannabis sector eligible for $40B credit program from government bank

Applicants must go through their own banks to access the program

Immunocompromised community call for more options to get groceries during COVID-19

One woman has decided to build a greenhouse to ensure she is able to access food throughout pandemic

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Most Read