Warmer weather is always welcomed in the Northeast, as we trade in our winter coats and snow shovels for swimsuits and beach chairs. However, the warmer weather also means we have to worry about pests. Among these pests ushered in with the changing weather are ticks. Many people worry about tick bites, as they can be difficult to detect and can sometimes be harmful. For this reason, we’ve compiled a list of the top things to keep in mind this tick season.
1. Ticks Carry Disease
It’s important to understand the risks of a tick bite. Ticks carry different diseases, the most common of which being Lyme disease, which can impact your heart, joints, and nervous system. Because ticks carry harmful diseases, it’s important to do what you can to keep ticks out of your home and prevent tick bites. Fortunately, a tick needs to remain on your body for 36 hours before it can transmit a disease, so, if you remove a tick immediately after it bites you, you can avoid disease transmission altogether.
2. Ticks Hide in Plants
When attempting to prevent tick bites, it’s important to know where they hide so that you and your family can be on high alert. Ticks often hide in tall grass and lush plants as well as shady areas. For this reason, it’s important to take special precautions during hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities where you will be spending time in these tick-heavy areas. There’s no reason to avoid these areas and activities simply because of ticks, but knowing where ticks hide is a good step in preventing tick bites.
3. Pets Can Be Carriers
If your furry friends spend time outside, they can often be carriers of ticks. Your pets are unlikely to realize they’ve been bitten by a tick, as the bite does not hurt, and they are certainly unable to remove a tick. For this reason, your cats, dogs, and other animals can carry ticks that have bitten them or ticks simply hiding in their fur into your home, putting your children, yourself, and other family members at risk. Fortunately, your pets can be protected from ticks with flea and tick medications and collars provided by your vet. These medications will repel ticks and keep them from using your pets to travel inside your home.
4. Always Check for Ticks
During the warmer months, it’s good practice to check yourself, and especially your children, for ticks after each time you spend time outside. Check yourself thoroughly, paying special attention to areas ticks can hide such as the armpits and behind your ears. Shower immediately to wash off any ticks that might be crawling on you and to conduct a thorough inspection. When possible, tumble dry your clothing after spending time outside, especially in tick-heavy areas to kill any ticks that might be on your clothing.
5. Practice Tick Bite Prevention
Each time you go outside during the summer, you are at risk for tick bites. However, there are things you can do to lessen your chances of being bitten. Avoid having exposed skin, tucking your pants into your socks if you’re going to be in a tick-heavy area and wearing long pants and long sleeves. Use bug spray with DEET that will help repel ticks and wear light-colored clothing to help spot ticks that might be crawling on you. For more detailed tips on preventing tick bites, check out this blog post. When you practice tick prevention, you can help decrease the likelihood of tick bites and protect your family and yourself.
6. Practice Safe Tick Removal
If you find a tick on your body, don’t panic. It’s important to remove it quickly and safely to lessen your chance of disease transmission. If the tick is crawling on your skin but has not yet bitten you, simply grab the tick and make sure it’s far away from you. If you’re inside, you can flush it down the toilet, and if you’re outside, make sure it lands far away. If a tick has bitten you, you will know because it will appear attached to you. Do not attempt to burn the tick off of you, as this will cause the tick to borough deeper. Instead, take a pair of tweezers and carefully pull the tick off of you and dispose of it. Be sure to remove every part of the tick, including the head and all of its legs. When you practice safe tick removal, you can lessen the chance of disease transmission.
7. Monitor Tick Bites
If you get bitten by a tick, you’re not necessarily going to get Lyme or another disease. In fact, if you remove the tick quickly, there is very little chance of disease transmission. However, it’s important to monitor tick bites. Look for a bull’s eye rash, which will start at the site of the bite and expand outward. Look for other symptoms of Lyme disease such as fever, chills, fatigue, and aches and pains. Most importantly, if you are worried you might have contracted a disease from a tick, see a doctor immediately. Early detection is key in lessening the severity of Lyme disease. If a tick bites you, there is a good chance that you won’t contract any type of disease. However, it’s important to monitor the bite and your body to avoid any unnecessary complications.
Mosquito Squad | Tick Control in NY, NY, and CT
One of the best methods of tick bite prevention is to eliminate ticks on your property. Mosquito Squad is proud to offer a variety of solutions to control ticks on your property. Whether you’re interested in a natural or synthetic solution, we can help you handle your tick problem. We can assess your property then come up with the ideal solution for your unique property, implementing barrier sprays, tick tubes, and more. If you’re in need of tick control services, contact us today.