Tips and Tricks for dealing with Ticks:
Summer is upon us, and as much as we love the green grass and the warmer weather, were not always a fan of some of the critters it brings with it. Specifically, ticks. These insects have become such a nuisance in the past few years, and can be the carrier of a host of problems, including Lyme’s disease. In this article, we will briefly discuss what you can do to prevent ticks in and around your home, regular tick checks on pets and people, and of course, what to do when and if you find a tick.
Protection & Prevention:
Preventing tick bites is a crucial part in keeping yourself safe from ticks this season. Experts suggest ensuring that you are wearing bug spray with DEET, and when walking in a wooded area, they recommend staying on the trail. These bugs can’t jump onto you, but can grab on if you brush against them. Ensuring you are wearing long sleeves, with pants tucked in also stops there from being any areas for ticks to latch onto. Doing regular tick checks are essential, especially when you’ve been outside all day.
In order to protect yourself around your home, ensure that you keep the grass cut short, minimizing the wooded areas that ticks can hide in. Keep any woodpiles neat and organized, minimizing the attraction of small critters such as mice, that are often carriers of ticks. Remember to check yourself, and family members for ticks constantly whenever coming in from a day outdoors, and perform daily tick checks on pets that go outside. You want to give animals a good tip to tail check, making sure to check armpits, checking their head, and tail just to make sure they’re aren’t any ticks crawling around or already attached.
When it comes to people, there are many benefits of being active outdoors. However, it is important to do regular tick checks when returning from these outdoor activities and remember that ticks can be as small as a freckle at some life stages – meaning you will need to designate a buddy to help you check for ticks.
Finding & Removing Ticks:
If you find a tick, on yourself or others, it is important to remove it as soon as possible. The longer a tick is attached to your person, the higher the risk is of contracting Lyme disease. If a tick has been attached for more that 24hours, OR is fully or partially engorged; or it has been up to 72 hours since the tick has been removed, than treatment with antibiotics from your doctor would be considered. Continuous observation of the area that the tick was removed from in the following 30 days is vital, to be properly treated with antibiotics if there are any signs or symptoms of Lyme disease emerging.
To properly remove a tick, use fine point tweezers, and grasp the tick at the head, as close to the skin as possible. Pull slowly until the tick is removed and do not twist or rotate the tick in anyway. Wash the tick bite with soap and water. You can dispose of a live tic by flushing it down the toilet, or placing it in a sealed bag/container in your household garbage. If you are going to see your physician and want to bring the tick with you (to have it tested to see if it carries Lyme) place the tick in a sealed bag or empty pill bottle with a moistened paper towel. Never use a match, lotion, or anything else to attempt to remove a tick from you, or from a pet.
Keeping in mind these tick safe prevention, and precautionary measures can help you continue to enjoy the outdoors and minimize your chances of receiving a tick bite this year. Ticks are icky, but with this easy advice, your summertime doesn’t have to be.
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