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

VALLEY SENIORS: Sunshine Servers serve up a good time in Port Alberni

The group, formed in 2004, has volunteered hundreds of hours in the community

Young Alberni filmmakers win ‘Best Picture’ in youth film fest

‘Hope’ is high school students Richard Spencer and Miranda Chen’s first foray into film

Beaver Creek Volunteer Fire Department promotes deputy to chief

Mike Kobus replaces Charlie Starratt in Alberni Valley-based fire hall

City approves $10M to finish Port Alberni’s wastewater treatment plant

Money won’t come from taxation, but will affect sewer user fees, says city CAO

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Off-duty Nanaimo Mountie takes down would-be ice cream thief

Suspect attempted to steal Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen location on Sunday

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

Nanaimo man hit with pole in dispute over off-leash dog

RCMP say no charges recommended at this time

Was there a tornado on Vancouver Island Monday?

Suspected phone app glitch gives eerie warning

Work has started on Malahat Skywalk, expected completion in 2021

$15-million project expected to open in spring, 2021

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Most Read