Spring is in full swing, which means all of the bugs are starting to come out – including ticks. While many ticks are simply interested in a blood meal and don’t cause much harm, there are deer ticks that carry Lyme disease – which can be dangerous. It’s important to take precautions when you’re outside and protect yourself from any type of tick. Here are ways to do it:
1. Invest in bug spray, particularly a type that has a high level of DEET (an oil that is extremely effective at keeping bugs away). Apply it to exposed skin (just be careful around your face) and reapply as necessary.
2. Wear long clothing – this includes long sleeves and long pants. If it’s hot out, try clothing made from lighter materials, like linen or cotton.
3. Wear a hat. Many times, people find ticks on their necks, where they can’t see them. By wearing a hat, you can prevent ticks from crawling down your head and latching on to your skin.
4. Avoid wooded or bushy areas. Ticks can usually be found on the ends of tall grasses and branches, and once you brush up against them, they’ll latch onto you.
5. Thoroughly check yourself for ticks – grab a mirror and inspect yourself after you come inside and before you shower. Pay attention – ticks are small.
6. If you find a tick on you, use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers to remove it. Grasp it firmly as close to your skin as possible and pull upwards.
7. After you remove the tick, check for rashes every day for a few weeks. If you find one, head to the doctor’s office – it could be a sign of Lyme disease.
8. Keep in mind that ticks can be brought into your home by outdoor pets – treat your cats and dogs with flea and tick medication and do a thorough search each time they come in the house.
Lyme disease-carrying deer ticks are also often found on deer, so if you live in an area populated with deer, it’s important to be extra-cautious. By installing a high-quality deer fence, you can keep deer out of your hard and better protect you and your family from Lyme disease.