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

From the Chilliwack Progress Archives: Fearing an Aryan invasion

In 1995, Chilliwack Mayor John Les was concerned about the idea of an ‘Aryan Fest’ coming to town.

Big Bar Landslide saw long awaited blasting this week

Pressure has been on senior governments working with First Nations to remove blockage for months

COLUMN: Trying to look forward while looking back

Reader suggests re-running a 2015 Times column after recent racism towards Indigenous people

Two prolific offenders from Alberta lead RCMP on chase across Fraser Valley

Men first reported in Chilliwack ending with allegedly stolen vehicle in an Abbotsford pond

Chilliwack physiotherapist charged with sexual assault

Mounties urging other potential victims to make contact

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

Fiery collision involving truck closes Highway 1 at Three Valley Gap

Drivers should expect major delays and congestion; estimated time of re-opening is 2 p.m.

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Most Read