Peak tick season in Ohio and many parts of the midwest are usually spring and late summer/early fall.
According to the ADLF, Peak activity for adult deer ticks and blacklegged ticks occurs in late October and early November.
Of adults sampled in highly endemic areas of the northeast, 50% have been found to carry the Lyme disease spirochete.
However, few cases of Lyme disease are acquired from adult tick bites because they are relatively large (about the size of an apple seed) and attached ticks are usually found and removed before spirochete transmission occurs (more than 36 hrs).
Back in early spring I found a tick on Leroy and had to remove it.
I found myself running around the house grabbing my tick removing supplies.
These were located in different areas of the house like the medicine cabinet in the bathroom, the hall closest, the office and just when I thought that I had everything that I needed, I would have to run through the house again and grab something else.
That’s when I started thinking that since we’re at the beginning of tick season it would probably be a good idea to have all of the things that I need to remove a tick all in one place.
So I created a quick tick kit.
Ticks are not avoidable for many of us but there are many ways that you can reduce your dog’s exposure to ticks and Lyme Disease.
Since ticks carry many diseases , such as Lyme Disease, and can make your dog sick, having a tick ready to go means that you can remove that tick from your dog faster, identify it quickly and put your mind ease.
The items in this tick kit are pretty basic and things that most people have around the house anyway.
You can adjust it to fit your needs but here are a few ideas to get you started:
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Items For A Tick Kit For Dogs:
Plastic storage bag
A Ziploc bag is a great way to store your tick kit supplies. You can identify the kit by writing on it and close it for safe storage. I used a 1-quart size.
A sealable plastic bag is also where you can store your tick until you can dispose of it
You can also use a cosmetic bag or any size freezer bag.
Tweezers are the most important supply needed in the tick kit. This will be what you use to remove the tick from your dog. You can use tweezers that you purchase from the store in the beauty aisle or you there are specific tick tweezers that you can purchase.
This is what you’ll have the rubbing alcohol in.
You can use a regular bottle of alcohol but a travel size container is much easier to store in your kit. This is what you’ll need to clean the bite would with and you’ll need to clean your tweezers with the alcohol also.
This is also what you’ll put in your container if you choose to save the tick.
You can substitute the travels container with alcohol wipes
Computer paper, post-it-notes or an index card can be used in 2 ways.
First, if the tick is alive you can tape the tick tightly to the paper to keep it in place.
Second, you can use the paper as a background for taking a clear picture if you want to send the tick off for identification. Just make sure that the paper is white.
Third, you can use the post-it-note, paper or index card to write the date and the place where you found the tick on your dog.
Pen or Marker
This will be used to document the tick on the paper or to write on the container that you use to put the tick in.
Cotton balls or Q-tips
You’ll need cotton balls or Q-tips dipped in the rubbing alcohol to clean the area where the tick was removed.
Cleaned pill vial
A cleaned pill vial can be a great place to store a tick. I prefer to place an engorged tick in a small pill vial filled with a little alcohol.
It has a locking cap and the alcohol will kill the tick.
You can write the date and the location of where the tick was removed on the outside of the bottle or on the lid.
Antibiotic cream or ointment
This can be applied to the tick bite after the area has been cleaned
Where to keep the kit
You can make 1 or you can several tick kits to keep in different places.
Obviously, you’ll want to have one at home but you can also make one for your pet first aid kit, one for your car and one for your backpack if you go hiking a lot during tick season.
Tips for tick kits
Instead of using rubbing alcohol you can use iodine scrub or just plain soap and water to clean the tick bite area.
If you want to omit paper, that’s fine but it’s a good idea to somewhere record the date you removed the tick and where on your dog you removed it from.
You can print off some tick identification cards to keep in your tick kit if you want to identify quickly and flush it down the toilet fast.
You can also add in a natural tick repellent like Wondercide to your kit to help keep ticks away.