Ticks are a constant danger for people who are out in the woods or even just enjoying a picnic on a grassy hill. They carry diseases that can be transmitted to people, and you might not always realize you have been bitten due to the analgesic contained in their spit. It’s important to know how to prevent ticks from coming in your yard, avoid ticks if you are out in the woods and know how to remove a tick if one follows you home.
Be Aware of the Dangers
Feeding on blood, they can transmit disease from other hosts. The most common ones include Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. However, they also carry the deadly disease babesiosis. Causing extreme fatigue, high fever, muscle aches, loss of appetite and nausea, this disease can destroy red blood cells and lead to a weakened immune system. That’s why it’s imperative that you protect yourself from ticks and take the time to remove a tick as soon as you find one. It takes more than a day for them to pass along an infection to a host, so you do have time to remove one before you become infected with a disease.
Keep Ticks Away from Your Home
You might think that ticks simply come with the territory if you have any grassy areas around your home, but this isn’t the case. The professionals can treat your property with special chemicals that ticks won’t appreciate. They will avoid your property, and that’s great news for you, your pets and your family.
Protect Yourself When Out
If you are heading to the woods for a bike ride or going for a picnic lunch out in the wilds, start by wearing long pants. Even if it is warm outside, long pants are important to protect yourself from ticks that are waiting on tall grass. Pair the long pants with socks and either tennis shoes or hiking boots. Ideally, you will tuck your pants leg inside your socks to ensure that ticks cannot get under your clothing and attach to your skin. You should also wear long sleeves if the area you are heading to has particularly tall grass or woods. Spray yourself with insect repellant containing DEET to keep the bugs away.
When you get back inside, inspect yourself and your children to be sure you don’t have any little hitchhikers. Ticks like dark, warm areas, so they are likely to be found behind the knees, in the groin or around your tailbone. Use a mirror to check yourself, and take a shower to be sure that you are completely clean and free of ticks. Follow these tips to effectively remove a tick and keep your family safe.
Even when you take all the right precautions, you might still find a tick has attached itself to you or your children. The first thing you should remember is that there’s no reason to panic. While ticks can carry diseases, most of them don’t. It also takes a good 24-hours for the slow-moving ticks to actually transmit diseases to their hosts, so you should be safe if you have caught the intruder quickly.
Using a pair of tweezers, firmly grasp the tick at its head or next to the mouth. You want to grasp it as close to the skin as possible to prevent the head from detaching and burrowing under the skin. Using steady pressure, pull up until the tick releases from the skin. Put the tick in alcohol to kill it. Use alcohol to clean the site. If the tick doesn’t want to release, you can use the flat edge of a driver’s license or credit card to gently encourage it to let go.
Nobody wants to find a tick after they have enjoyed an afternoon in the woods, but discovering one does not have to be a cause for alarm. With the right steps, you can easily remove the tick and keep yourself safe. Invest in treatments for your yard, especially if you live near the woods. Protect yourself with the right clothing, and check yourself for ticks as soon as you get home or in your tent. Finally, it's vital that you remove a tick and kill it as soon as they are found using tweezers. With these precautions, you won’t have to worry about the possibility of tick-borne diseases.