Ticks can carry a number of different diseases that can be transmitted to humans, including ehrlichiosis, tularemia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme disease and many others. Preventing tick bites is the key to avoiding these diseases and if you do get bitten, locating and removing the tick as quickly as possible is of the essence. Preventing and protecting against tick bites is important for the health and well being of yourself and your family.
Preventing Tick Bites
There are a number of steps you can take to help you avoid tick bites this summer.
- Wear long pants and long sleeve shirts
- Tuck pant legs into socks
- Tape around any open or loose areas where ticks could access skin
- Use a chemical insect repellent with DEET, picaridin or permethrin
- Avoid tick-infested areas
- Wear light colored clothing to more easily see ticks that have gotten on you
- When hiking, stick to the center of the trail as ticks tend to hide in shrubs and bushes
- Treat pets with flea and tick preventatives
Checking for Ticks
It’s important to check for ticks after you’ve been outdoors, even if only in your own yard. Check yourself, children and pets for ticks daily. Removing ticks as quickly as possible is key to preventing the transmission of a tick-borne illness like Lyme disease. Here are some steps for checking yourself and others for ticks.
- Check yourself or have a family member check you over for ticks
- Upon returning home, put clothing in washer on hot to kill any ticks on clothing
- Check in skin folds
- Check hair and scalp using a fine-toothed comb
- Check pets using a flea and tick comb
- Shower right away with the hottest water you can stand
If you find a tick, don’t panic. Many tick-borne illnesses require a tick to be attached to you for 24-36 hours before they can transmit illness. Use forceps or tweezers and grasp the tick as close to the head as possible to be sure to remove the entire tick without the head detaching. To kill it, place it in a container with rubbing alcohol. It’s important to remove ticks as quickly as possible to avoid transmission of any illness. If you develop a rash, particularly a bulls eye shaped rash, see your physician immediately for testing for Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses.
If you notice you have a large number of ticks in your yard, be sure to call The Pest Force. Don’t live with dangerous pests in your yard, we can help!