Prevent Tick Bites
If you want to make the most of your summer, it’s a good idea to have a plan for how to deal with ticks. Nothing can ruin a great day faster than finding out that a tick bit you. In this article, we are going to go over what you can do to prevent and identify tick bites.
In order to prevent getting bitten by a tick, you first need to know which areas they prefer to inhabit. Ticks usually live in bushy, grassy and wooded areas. If you spend time outside gardening, hunting, camping or walking your dog, you may eventually run into a tick habitat. Oftentimes, ticks will even find their way into a residential neighborhood and in people’s backyards.
Of course, we can’t just stop going outside. One preventative measure is to treat your camping gear, boots and clothing with products that contain 0.5% permethrin. Once applied, the permethrin will remain active for several washings. You can also buy and use EPA-registered insect repellents. The EPA has a useful tool that can help you find the right product for your needs.
After you’ve been in an area that you suspect has a tick infestation, it’s best to make sure that you were not bitten. Start by checking your clothes for ticks. You do not want to bring any ticks into your home. If you find one, remove it, and then tumble dry your clothes in a dryer for 10 minutes on high heat. This will pretty much kill any tick that may have found its way into your clothes. You can also wash the clothes using hot water. Be careful though, medium temperature or cold water will not get the job done.
If you have traveled with a pet, you should inspect it as well. A tick may use it to ride into the home and then attach itself to a person. You also want to take a hot shower within two hours of getting home. This has been shown to lower the risk of being infected with tickborne illnesses including Lyme disease. Showering may also wash off any unattached ticks.
After showering, check your body for any ticks using a full-length or hand-held mirror. Check under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, on the back of the knees, in the hair, between the legs, and around the waist.
If you find an attached tick, there is no need to panic. The risk period for contracting Lyme disease is between 24 to 48 hours. To remove the tick, grab a pair of fine-tipped tweezers and grasp the tick near the surface of the skin. Pull with steady pressure and don’t jerk or twist the tick. It may break off its mouth. If mouth pieces do remain embedded in the skin after the tick has been removed, you can use the tweezers to remove them as well. Once removed, clean the bite area using soap or rubbing alcohol. Do not crush the tick once removed. Place it in alcohol, in a sealed container or flush it down the toilet.
Is there a tick infestation on your property?
If you notice repeated tick bites, despite not visiting wooded areas or areas with tall grass, there may be a tick infestation on your property. In this situation, it’s best to get in touch with a pest control specialist right away.