Ticks are out early this year in western Massachusetts

The black-legged tick and the deer tick are the most common for this area

Photo Courtesy: WTNH

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Ticks are tiny, but they are a nuisance for both you and your pet. Ticks can carry Lyme disease, and other infectious diseases.

The black-legged tick and the deer tick are the most common in western Massachusetts. They mainly hang out in tall grass and brush, and can also drop down from trees. If you go into woods or take a hike, be sure to check yourself thoroughly when you get home.

“Make sure you check your dog and yourself every time after bringing them into the house after going on a walk,” said Shayla Howe, Animal Control Officer in Northampton. “Contact a veterinarian and see what they can do about tick prevention, you want to jump on that early in the year.”

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You usually start seeing ticks around late summer and early fall, but you might start seeing more of them soon because of the mild winter. 22News asked a local veterinarian how you can prevent them from getting on your pets.

“Ticks tend to go up into the neck area and also in between the toes, so those are places you want to make sure you check,” said Dr. Danielle Lorenzo, Owner of Florence Animal Clinic. “We would also recommend that you’re using a good quality flea, tick control product.”

Tick control products include chewables, topicals, and tick dog collars. Lorenzo said ticks are generally most active in the fall, but they’re here now, and can be active year round.