Time spent outdoors is meant to be fun. You shouldn’t have to worry about the threat of getting sick. Still, ticks pose a real threat to your health. Fortunately, knowledge is power in your fight against them. Below are the top things to know about ticks, for both peace of mind, and to prevent future bites.
They Don’t Jump
Ticks are actually classified as arachnids, meaning they’re more like spiders than insects. They do not fly, jump, or drop from high places. Instead, they use a method called ‘questing’ to find food. This involves waiting on a blade of grass for an animal or human to pick them up unwittingly. Once transferred onto that living thing, ticks stake out a place to feed. If you find a tick on your neck or head, it likely crawled there from a place lower on your body. That’s why it’s simply not enough to stay away from trees and bushes to prevent tick bites.
Only Deer Ticks Transmit Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease only comes from one type of tick, but that doesn’t mean other ticks are harmless. Varieties like the American dog and brown dog ticks can spread a potentially fatal condition called Rocky Mountain spotted fever. It’s hard for an untrained individual to tell what kind of tick they’re dealing with, which is why it’s important to protect against them as a whole.
Disease Transmission Isn’t Instant
Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are certainly scary illnesses, but they don’t set in as soon as a tick lands. As we mentioned before, ticks take their time finding the right spot to bite, and longer still to finish. Ticks can stay on one’s body for days, and take hours to transmit the bacteria that causes diseases. The Center for Disease Control indicates that your chances of getting sick are slim if you remove a tick within 24 hours of it arriving on your body.
Tweezers are the Best Tool to Remove Ticks
Unfortunately, a tick burrows part of its head under your skin when it bites, which makes it particularly difficult to remove. For that reason, using your hands just doesn’t work. A pair of tweezers with a sharp point works far more effectively, making it feasible to remove even the smallest tick nymphs. Removing a tick with tweezers is similar to removing a splinter. Grasp the tick as close as you can to the skin, and pull upward carefully. Then, either seal the tick in a plastic bag to take to the doctor, or flush it down the toilet. Afterward, clean the affected area of the skin.
Tick-repellent Clothing is the Best Bite Preventative
Short of using a professional pest service to remove ticks from your outdoor area, wearing the right clothes goes a long way in preventing contact with them. Opt for long sleeves and pants in wooded areas, making sure to tuck in any loose fabric. Certain bug sprays can work, especially those made with at least 20% DEET. For the best of both worlds, treat your clothes with a fabric-friendly insect repellent, or buy articles of clothing that have been pre-treated with one. Wearing a hat doesn’t hurt, either! Check for ticks every two to three hours while you’re outdoors, and again at the end of the day, because you can never be too careful.
Are ticks ruining your outdoor time? Stop fretting and take control of the situation. Contact Abarb Pest Services today.