Ticks are a small and dangerous pest found outdoors. Many people assume they’re more of a nuisance than a danger, but that isn’t the case. This is because ticks are the primary carriers of Lyme disease as well as Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Rather you’re planning for a weekend of camping or just enjoy spending time in the back yard, you must know how to protect yourself from ticks.
Knowing the Pest
The first step towards preventing a tick bite is to understand where they’re most likely to strike. Ticks live in areas with long grasses, tall bushes, and heavy woods. By keeping your yard trimmed short and avoiding areas that a tick would prefer, you lower your risk of being bit. Of course, even the best yard maintenance isn’t always enough!
Tick repellent is another great tool in tick prevention. You can purchase a tick repellent that you spray over your yard for long-term prevention or use a spray on your clothes and skin and similar preventive bug repellents. Pets can be given a tick repellent in multiple forms including skin drops, oral medication, and a tick collar.
Checking for Ticks
After coming inside from time spent outdoors, you should perform a full body check. Remove your clothing and immediately put them in the washer, take a shower, and use the time in the shower to look for any ticks on your body. You should take the time to inspect your pets daily as well. Lift their ears, check their stomach, and any other crevices where the ticks could be hiding.
Sometimes even the best prevention isn’t enough to keep ticks at bay. The finder you notice an attached tick the better and the less likely you’ve been infected with a tick-borne disease. When you find a tick, don’t panic. Use tweezers or a similar device to pull the tick straight up and out of the skin. Start the pulling motion as close to your skin as possible. If you notice a rash or fever after removing a tick, contact your doctor right away.
Ticks are an unwelcome visitor on any person or pet. The best way to prevent yourself from a tick bite is to stay informed and alert. Certain regions are more prone to tick-borne diseases, but they can be found anywhere. Don’t underestimate the possibility of a tick bite just because you’re in your own back yard!