Ticks: Not just a rural problem

Research shows that ticks can be found in both rural and urban areas in the UK and Ireland

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Ticks are usually considered a mainly rural problem.  However, a recent study showed the presence of ticks at several sites in a large town in the southern UK, including parks, areas of grassland, hedges and woodland1.  Reports from veterinary practices demonstrate  there is a similar risk in towns and cities in Ireland.

Dogs living in urban areas can be exposed to ticks in several ways:

  • Gardens. Wildlife, such as hedgehogs and foxes, can carry ticks and act as a source of infestation for your pet.
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Fig.1. Forest and woodland trails are a common source of tick infestation

  • Parks. Urban greenspaces, particularly those with patches of woodland provide an ideal habitat for ticks. In parks where deer are present the risk is even higher; deer are a good host for ticks.
  • Weekend walks. Many of us like to get out of town for a few hours at the weekend, visiting nearby forests or mountains. These areas often provide a great habitat for ticks, putting your pet (and you) at risk of exposure to ticks and the various diseases they carry, such as Lyme Disease.

If you think your pet could be at risk, speak to your vet. There are a variety of treatment options available  including spot-ons, sprays, collars, as well as oral chewable formulations. Regular re-administration of product is required for effective long-term control of ticks, and there are products available which provide protection for as long as 12 weeks.

For more information about tick control, check our other article here or visit www.bravopets.ie

 

  1. Hansford et al. Ticks and Borrelia in urban and peri-urban green space habitats in a city in southern England. Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases, Volume 8, Issue 3, March 2017, Pages 353-361

 

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