In the last two blogs, we talked about mosquito facts and how you can prevent problems with them. Now, we’re going to talk about another common problem this time of year – ticks and tick bites. This is going to begin a series of blogs about ticks so that you can protect yourself and your family. In this first blog, we are going to talk about protecting yourself from tick bites.
Protecting Yourself from Tick Bites Before You Head Outside & While You’re Outside
Protection starts before you even go outside. Here are some tips to help you get started protecting yourself from tick bites.
- Understand Where Ticks Are – Ticks are usually found in brushy, grassy, or wooded areas. They even can be found on your pets. When you spend time outdoors camping, walking the dog, hunting or gardening, you may find that you are around ticks. A lot of times people get bit by ticks right in their own neighborhood or yard.
- Treat Your Clothing & Gear – This is done with products that contain 0.5% permethrin. This can be used for treating clothing, camping gear, and boots. It also will keep its protection through a few washings. You can also buy gear and clothing that has already been treated.
- Use Insect Repellant with the EPA Icon – Look for a repellant that contains DEET, IR3535, PMD, OLE, or 2-undecanone. We mentioned this website in our last blog about mosquitoes but we feel it’s worth mentioning again.
- Avoid Any Tick Contact – Avoid brushy and wooded areas with leaf litter and high grass and walk in the middle of the trail.
Protecting Yourself from Tick Bites When You Come Back Home
Once you get back home, there are things you can do that can help prevent problems from tick bites or reduce your chances.
Check All Clothing – You may have ticks stuck to your clothing, so check it over. If you find any, remove them. Dry your clothes on a high heat setting for ten minutes. That will kill any ticks you have missed. If your clothing is damp, it may need more time. If you want to wash them first, use hot water. Otherwise the ticks won’t be killed.
Examine Pets & Gear – A tick can come into your home on pets aned clothing, then get on a human later. Therefore, you want to carefully examine your daypacks, coats, and pets.
Take a Shower – When you shower 2 hours after you come inside, it can reduce your risk of Lyme disease. It also can reduce your risk of contracting other types of tick-borne illnesses. It also may help with washing off any ticks that are unattached and is a good time to do a check for ticks.
Check Your Body – Do a complete body check when you come inside for any areas that could be hiding ticks. Use a full-length or hand-held mirror to look over your body. The following places are the ones where ticks love to hide: Make sure you check children, too.
- Beneath arms
- Back of knees
- In & around ears
- Inside the belly button
- In & around hair
- Between legs
- Around waist
We hope you found this useful. The next blog we are going to discuss how to help your pets. If you are concerned about protecting your family and you are interested in organic pest control, contact us. We’ll be happy to tell you how we can help keep you and your family healthy.