There Are Some Preventative Measures Against Tick Bites
Tick Environments- ticks live in moist and humid environments, particularly in or near wooded or grassy areas. You may come into contact with ticks during outdoor activities around your home or when walking through vegetation such as leaf litter or shrubs. It’s a good idea to walk in the center of trails.
There are two repellents that have been shown to repel ticks and mosquitoes, Deet and Permethrin. Deet is a repellent that is used on the skin that can cause skin irritation. Use a 20%-30% DEET repellent on your skin for several hours of protection. Permethrin is a repellent used on your clothing. You can actually buy pretreated permethrin clothing or spray it on your clothing yourself. It’s important to protect your children from tick bites as well using these products according to the instructions included.
Perform Daily Tick Checks
Check your body for ticks- after being outdoors, even in your own yard, conduct a body check, searching your whole body. Have another person check the back of you, or areas that are not clearly visible to yourself. Pay close attention to the areas listed below. Always check your kids as well.
- Back of your knees
- In and around the ears (I actually found a tick inside of my daughter’s ear)
- Between the legs
- Under your armpits
- In and around all head and body hair
- In your belly button
- Around the waist
Check your clothing and pets for ticks- Ticks may be carried into the house on clothing and pets. Both should be examined carefully, and any ticks that are found should be removed. You may save any tick that you find and have it tested, especially if it is found on your body. Placing clothes into a dryer on high heat effectively kills ticks.
What to Do If You Are Bitten by a Tick
Remove an attached tick using fine-tipped tweezers, or a special tick tool as soon as you notice it. After removing the tick, put it in a plastic zip lock bag with a moistened cotton ball. Have it tested. This is the best way to know if you are at a high risk of contracting Lyme Disease. Tick testing labs are growing in number, however Igenex is a highly skilled tick testing lab. You can go to the Igenex website for more information on tick testing. If you have removed a tick from yourself or another family member, watch for signs or symptoms of Lyme disease such as a rash or flu-like symptoms. See a qualified healthcare provider if these develop. For more information, see tick removal. If a tick is attached to your skin for less than 24 hours, your chance of getting Lyme disease is lower.
Your risk of acquiring a tick-borne illness depends on many factors, including where you live, what type of tick bit you, and how long the tick was attached. If you become ill after a tick bite, see a qualified healthcare provider right away. Remember, many healthcare providers will prescribe you 3 or 4 weeks of antibiotics, indicating that this will eradicate the disease. This is NOT true in most cases. It’s best to see a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor for this reason. They are specialists and they know that treatment for the lyme bacteria and possible co-infections transmitted by the bite of a tick could very well take months, or years to bring down the load of bacteria to a non-symptomatic level. There is no cure for lyme disease.
You Can Create Tick-Safe Zones In Your Yard
- Modify your landscaping to create- “Tick-Safe Zones.” It’s pretty simple. Keep patios, play areas and playground equipment away from shrubs, bushes, and other vegetation. Regularly remove leaf litter and clear tall grasses and brush around your home, and place wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas to keep ticks away from recreational areas (and away from you).
- Use a chemical control agent- Effective tick control chemicals are available for use by the homeowner, or they can be applied by a professional pest control expert. Even limited applications can greatly reduce the number of ticks–a single springtime application of acaricide can reduce the population of ticks that cause Lyme disease by 68–100%.
- Discourage deer- Deer are the main food source for adult ticks. Keep deer away from your home by removing plants that attract deer and constructing physical barriers that may help discourage deer from entering your yard and bringing ticks with them. Deer management has also been studied with regard to its impact on tick populations.
Prevent Ticks on Animals
Prevent family pets from bringing ticks into the home- Maintain your family pet under a veterinarian’s care. Two of the ways to get rid of ticks on dogs and cats are putting on tick medicine or using a tick collar. Be sure to use these products according to the package instructions.