Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


July 1, 2013

Plateau Gardening: Protect your four-legged friends from tick, mosquito bites

Some folks will read the headline of this article with skepticism. If your childhood ended prior to 1999, when the first United States case of West Nile Virus was identified in New York, it may be hard to believe something as much a part of summertime when you were a kid as a mosquito or tick bite, is now a serious threat. Believe it.

Three of my buddies have had near-death experiences after tick bites. One friend can no longer work as a nurse after an illness her doctors believe started with a mosquito bite.

A tick I found on the dog after one of our walks and the butterfly wildflower meadow along one side of our property (where tall, thick, lush vegetation is just the kind of insect-friendly environment ticks and mosquitoes like) were the impetus for this series of articles (see related photos). Hopefully this information will help you and your family to understand the potential for infection, recognize habitat where infected ticks or mosquitoes may be found and prompt your use of products and/or methods for preventing bites. Protect yourself and those you love, whether they have two legs or four.

Last week, there was a note on the calendar reminding me to give our dog, Cocoa the chocolate lab, her treatment to prevent heart worm as well as another to kill ticks and fleas. Talk with your veterinarian about taking preventive action and about available tests to detect any current infection your pets or livestock could have. That chat could be a pet life saver.

The New York Animal Medical Center web page at cites heartworm as the most serious mosquito-borne disease for cats and dogs. Mosquito bites can transmit microscopic worms to a pet’s bloodstream. These parasitic worms are called heartworms because they live and grow in canine or feline hearts and pulmonary arteries. Eventually the worm can clog the heart causing sudden death.

Mosquitoes are also vectors for the deadly disease West Nile Virus (WNV). Read the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) Veterinarian Newsletter titled "Protecting Pets from Mosquito-Borne Diseases" (online at

West Nile Virus can be contracted from a mosquito bite. WNV has a similar course of infection in horses, dogs and people. It goes to the brain causing inflammation and central nervous system interference. Creating a mosquito-free environment around your home can be difficult with all the rainfall we have had, but it is the most important form of protection against mosquito-borne illnesses for your neighborhood, your family and your pets.

The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation's web report, "Canine Tick-Borne Diseases," found at the browser address suggests Canine Ehrlichiosis  (found worldwide) is the most common and one of the most dangerous tick-borne organisms that infect dogs.

Lime disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (as well as four other maladies) are also described in that document. Early detection and treatment is said to be the surest way to a cure. The threat to dogs from tick-transmitted illnesses has risen sharply (30 percent) between the years 2006 and 2010. Discuss the possibility of including an annual screening test for this type of disease as part of your dog’s annual veterinary check-up.

• • • 

Plateau Gardening is written by Master Gardeners for gardeners in Tennessee’s Upper Cumberland Region.  Contact UT Extension Cumberland County at P.O. Box 483, Crossville, TN 38557 (484-6743) for answers to horticulture questions, free publications and how to become a Master Gardener. Send email comments or yard and garden inquiries to Master Gardener Rae,

Text Only
  • fair park.jpg Heritage demonstrators welcome

    Most of Americans today never stop to think how different our lives would have been several hundred years ago. How many times a day do we wash our hands, and do we ever realize when we take those hot showers and lather up, the long all-day process our ancestors had to go through just to make a bar of soap? Not to mention packing water to the house and heating it up over a wood fire just to have a bath and wash clothes. Times are changing faster than ever.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • pleasant hill ramblings.jpg Mathes restores a bit of Pleasant Hill's history

    Miss Alice Adshead, RN, created a “wilderness trail” through the woods just down the hill from Uplands Sanatorium, the first hospital in Cumberland County once located on Main St. in Pleasant Hill.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • plateau gardening-hydrangeas5117.jpg Prune flowering shrubs: now or wait until February?

    Experts say, “Don’t prune woody-stemmed plants (shrubs, trees and some types of vines) after mid-August.” Do pay close attention to that advice. The purpose of this late-season pruning prohibition is to keep plants healthy.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • IMG_1850.jpg Burgess Falls offers a big payoff for a short hike

    At Burgess Falls, you can be out of your car and taking in the breathtaking view of the Falling Water River as it falls 136 feet in the third and final drop of the river with just a short walk through the woods.
    But even though the state park is close to civilization, this natural wonder retains its wild and scenic reputation.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo 19 Links

  • 8-2 colonial dames.jpg Colonial Dames honors members with luncheon

    The John McKnitt Chapter Colonial Dames 17th Century held its May meeting at the home of Joyce Ernst. Those present were Sherry Sneed, Jessie Watts, Dot Brodhag, Kandy B. Smith, Lynn Constan, Donna Hamilton, Margaret Markum, Lana Davis, Sara Tripiciano, Jane Tavernier, Joyce Ernst, Kathy Wilson, Charlotte Reynolds, and Cheryl Chrobot. President Lana Davis welcomed the ladies and followed with the opening ritual.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • J & J Show Best of Show.jpg Art Guild announces winners from Judged and Juried Show

    On June 6, the Art Guild at Fairfield Glade held a reception to announce the winners of the Judged and Juried Fine Arts Show. The pieces were judged by Marcia Goldenstein of Knoxville. Stonehaus Winery provided refreshments for the occasion.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 8-1 Celtic Circle.jpg Celtic Circle donates to ACPL

    Celtic Circle, a local group of Americans celebrating their Celtic heritage, recently donated a subscription for Scotland Magazine to the Art Circle Public Library and to the Homestead Elementary School library. Pictured, left to right, are Barbara Nugent, originally from Yorkshire, England; Susie Randleman, ACPL director; and Catherine Stewart Munkelwitz from Inverness, Scotland. Celtic Circle will host a program titled "Celtic Sampler" at ACPL on Friday, Aug. 1 beginning at noon. Entertainment includes great Highland bagpipe, bodhran, harp, Irish step dancing, both Scottish and Irish songs, Gaelic spoken and sung, tartan weaving and Celtic Children's Corner with crafts.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 127 seniors BobJones-W6.jpg Jones, members, sing old favorites

    The senior citizens of 127 South met July 11 for conversation and the usual bingo and Mexican Train domino game. Arlene Simmons called the bingo numbers, and Bob Folger of State Farm Insurance furnished the prizes.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marriage licenses (Published July 16, 2014)

    July 15, 2014

  • fair park 1.jpg Seniors complete police academy

    Fair Park Senior Center would like to thank local law enforcement. As busy as the officers are, they are always willing to take the time for the Fair Park Seniors. Over the last four years, both city and county have both conducted numerous educational classes for the Senior Police Academy, hosted by the Fair Park Senior Center.

    July 15, 2014 2 Photos