Tuesday, June 19

Louse in my House

If you live in Costa Rica, you probably have dogs. If you have dogs, eventually (especially during rainy season), you will have ticks. I have not had a problem for almost five years but two weeks ago, I had an EXPLOSION of ticks in my house.

Macha (one of my dogs) was watching a dot on the wall and it sparked my curiosity to see what had caught her intense interest. From my perspective, it just looked like a black dot until IT MOVED. Well, the hunt was on. She had found a big fat momma tick. I found two more big fat ones. Then I noticed tiny, tiny dots on my white curtains. They were baby ticks still in a cocoon of sorts (not moving). I tweezer picked them all off and then started inspecting the dogs. Surprise, surprise! They had baby ticks stuck in their ears and between their paws. I was totally creeped out! The WAR WAS ON!

Canine Ehrlichia is serious stuff and A TICK can be deadly to a dog. The solution is to act fast and furious. First, I took my dogs to the vet and Jose Manuel gave them a shot for ticks and fleas. I haven't a clue what medicine it is but it keeps ticks off for 30-45 days*. It's not recommended as "a permanent solution" because liver damage is one of the side effects. It takes about three days for it to kick in. In the meantime, I had to kill the fleas on their bodies. I used the Banol dip (diluted) and cotton swabbed their ears inside. They all have touchy toes so I had to use the squirt bottle to soak their paws (underneath, between the pads, I used a syringe to satuate the skin). These were all baby ticks so they were in all the soft spaces. Under arms, belly - places like that. I gave them all a tick shampoo bath and then sponged on the dip (all over). They have to drip dry. For the house, I vacuumed with my beloved Rainbow vacuum cleaner OFTEN. I also sprayed inside the house and the entire grounds with this great pesticide, Peretroide. I had let the grass grow too high and hadn't sprayed in a LONG TIME. That is probably the root of the tick problem. During rainy season, creepy crawlers flourish.

I have had all sorts of vermits in my house when I purchased it. The house had open-brick (and open windows) in some areas and was 'Open to the Public'. I had bats that wouldn't give up their day spot until I glassed-in the area, a momma rat and nine of her babies, crabs, frogs, spiders, you name it. They all lived in this house before I bought it and I finally ran 'em out renovating.
The rat was the most amazing. My dog discovered her. She had dragged a dishcloth into some stack concrete blocks and made a pretty comfy nest for her newborn. No, I didn't kill them... they were transported over to the river to live. Pura Vida.

This whole process of getting a grip on the tick invasion has really been a battle. The only other things that are equally amazing are the crabs when they are laying their eggs (they go to and fro from the mountain in masses) and the ants. One special type of ant comes and sweeps through your house. Things that multiple quickly amaze me.

Gotta love it to live it - 'in the jungle'.

* The injection for ticks/fleas is Ivermectina (Thanks Wolfie for the info)

10 comments:

WolfieCR said...

Ask your vet if he could give a shot of ivermectina to all dogs, this thing is great stuff and used for cattle and the like , I used it with my german shepherds for years and NEVER had a problem

You are going to have to be diligent from now on because the eggs of that darn thing are extremely resistant to almost everything (Except an acetelyne torch! and I am not kidding about that)

TICA MACHA said...

Thanks, I forgot about the EGGS!
What a vicious cycle.

TICA MACHA said...

I wrote this post in two parts. Thank you Wolfie for supplying the name of the medicine used to protect animals from ticks/fleas.

WolfieCR said...

you are welcome but make sure to check with your vet :)

I am not a vet so my suggestion is given with no warranties expressed or implied ;)

Angelina said...

great article. ok, we have been invaded for months now. our poochies snuck onto our porch and slept on our pool furniture while we were out of town. The ticks took over. Here are some tips...once you get into full tick mode you will be able to spot them easily (eggs, babies, adults, and the fatties!). Use masking tape to pick them up and dispose of them quickly and safely. Shouldn't really touch the little dudes. We have a 2-1/2 year old son that is now and expert. His piece of tape will have 20 or so ticks on it. it is super easy. Baygone works which is against my organic nature but we finally broke down. The normally lay eggs a few inches about the ground on walls but also on fabric cushions and whicker couches! Baygone not only kills the eggs but seems to keep them from coming back to lay more at least for several days. we have found that the ticks will often keep laying in the same areas. We do the shot, dip, collars, and wash our terraces down weekly with soap and bleach and finally have a grip on them. however hey never sleep and you really need to keep any eye out to make sure they don't get a foothold as they can lay 1000 eggs at a time (at least that is what i remember my husband saying).

TICA MACHA said...

It's pretty amazing how fast they multiply!! I saw on t.v. where a tick is NUMBER ONE on Extreme Animals for be able to wait the longest to eat.
A tick can wait TWELVE YEARS for his next blood meal! That's damn scarey!!

Bethany said...

Thank you! I live in Liberia, and I'm going to try the products you mention here right away. I've tried a lot of things, so I hope this works!

Liv Sixsmith said...

Thanks this post is very useful. I live on the CR pacific coast.

I think I had a tick on my skin but have never seen a tick before so was not sure. I saw it yesterday and thought it was a blood blister and as i recently had a fall I thought it was just another cut on my leg. Then when I studied it more intensely today, I thought I'd try and pull it off gently. As I did I realised it was ALIVE!!! Urgh. So I got it off but now reading websites looking for help, I realise I might not have done that properly - Ah!

Having examined it, it's grey and tiny, it's smooth almost like a fruit pip or something any maybe 2-3 millimetres long. It definitely looks like the pics on websites.

I don't have dogs, but my jungle garden was very long until they cut it today and with my injury I've been struggling to walk so probably knocking into all sorts of jungle plants the last few days.

Now I'm worried cuz I know that ticks carry all sorts of nasty stuff... especially if it's been on my skin 24hours plus.

If any of you guys has any suggestions I'd be very grateful.

Thanks

Liv Sixsmith said...

Thanks this post is very useful. I live on the CR pacific coast.

I think I had a tick on my skin but have never seen a tick before so was not sure. I saw it yesterday and thought it was a blood blister and as i recently had a fall I thought it was just another cut on my leg. Then when I studied it more intensely today, I thought I'd try and pull it off gently. As I did I realised it was ALIVE!!! Urgh. So I got it off but now reading websites looking for help, I realise I might not have done that properly - Ah!

Having examined it, it's grey and tiny, it's smooth almost like a fruit pip or something any maybe 2-3 millimetres long. It definitely looks like the pics on websites.

I don't have dogs, but my jungle garden was very long until they cut it today and with my injury I've been struggling to walk so probably knocking into all sorts of jungle plants the last few days.

Now I'm worried cuz I know that ticks carry all sorts of nasty stuff... especially if it's been on my skin 24hours plus.

If any of you guys has any suggestions I'd be very grateful.

Thanks

TICA MACHA said...

It's important to remove the entire tick (head included). I have heard to put a hot match on the body and it will back itself out of your skin if it has buried itself. I use tweezers on my dogs (dipped in alcohol) and then rub alcohol on spot after I remove it. I think it's highly unlikely you contracted anything but then again, it's according to where you live.. get it checked to be safe.