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

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

Emergency crews were called to a semi-truck crash along the Trans-Canada Highway at Oyster Sto’Lo Road on Friday, Jan. 22. (Cole Schisler/Black Press)
Semi truck crashes off the side of the highway in Ladysmith

Driver taken to hospital as precaution after single-vehicle crash Friday

A person experiencing homelessness in downtown Nanaimo last week. (News Bulletin photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Change approach to combatting homelessness

Letter writers express frustration with status quo

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Nanaimo area this weekend

Snow to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Nanaimo City Hall. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo councillors like new sustainable buying policy

Finance and audit committee recommends council approve new procurement policy

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Police are searching for an alleged sex offender, Nicole Edwards, who they say has not returned to her Vancouver halfway house. (Police handout)
Police hunt for woman charged in ‘horrific’ assault who failed to return to Surrey halfway house

Call 911 immediately if you see alleged sex offender Nicole Edwards, police say

A screenshot from a local Instagram account video. The account appeared to be frequented by Mission students, and showed violent videos of students assaulting and bullying other students.
Parents, former students describe ‘culture of bullying’ in Mission school district

Nearly two dozen voices come forward speaking of abuse haunting the hallways in Mission, B.C.

Joe Biden, then the U.S. vice-president, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take their seats at the start of the First Ministers and National Indigenous Leaders meeting in Ottawa, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau, Biden to talk today as death of Keystone XL reverberates in Canada

President Joe Biden opposed the Keystone XL expansion as vice-president under Barack Obama

Prince Edward Island’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. A lozenge plant in Prince Edward Island has laid off 30 workers, citing an “almost non-existent” cold and cough season amid COVID-19 restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Almost non-existent’ cold and cough season: P.E.I. lozenge plant lays off 30 workers

The apparent drop in winter colds across the country seems to have weakened demand for medicine and natural remedies

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Disgraced Kelowna social worker faces another class-action lawsuit

Zackary Alphonse claims he was not informed of resources available to him upon leaving government care

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

SD62 bus driver Kerry Zado said it’s common to see drivers lose their patience and pass by his bus while he’s picking up students during the morning commute. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Concerned Island school bus driver says people still pass while red lights flashing

All buses in Sooke School District outfitted with stop sign cameras

Most Read