Ticks, these tiny blood-sucking pests, are an ever-growing threat that can spread disease to humans. Even if a tick doesn’t transfer disease, they’re a nasty nuisance. But don’t worry, there are ways to protect yourself against ticks. Today, we’re going to look at some simple measures, lifestyle changes and products that can help guard against ticks.
1. Wear Light-Colored Clothing
Putting on light-colored clothing is a simple way to spot the tiny insects. This is especially true in summer when people are spending more time outdoors, exposing themselves to tick threats. Light hues make it easier to spot the insects since dark colors, like blue or black, obscure and blend in easily with the ticks.
a. Choose Clothing with Tight Weave
Not only should your clothing be light colored, but you should buy clothes with a tight weave. Clothes with a tightly woven fabric will make it harder for ticks to penetrate and latch-on. It’s best to opt for synthetic, polyester materials. If you can find clothes with permethrin already woven in, then that’s a good choice.
b. Tuck Shoes into your Pants
When you’re out in the wild, tucking your shoes into your pants will act as another natural barrier of protection. This is especially important if you’re traipsing around in tall grass. Ticks can crawl up your clothes and into your socks, but tucking your shoes in your pants prevents that from happening.
2. Use Repellents
Applying a bug repellent containing DEET is an easy way to repel ticks from entering your body and spreading disease. DEET is one of the most effective agents for warding off mosquitoes, ticks and other insects. When using them, follow the instructions carefully and never exceed the manufacturer’s recommendation for dosage.
a. Sprays and Aerosols
The most common way to apply DEET is through sprays and aerosols. You spray the product directly onto your clothes and exposed skin. You don’t want to spray this on your face. Instead, spray you hands thoroughly and then rub it on your face.
b. Creams and Lotions
Another option for using DEET is through creams and lotions. These products provide more targeted application since you can rub onto the skin directly. Lotions and creams also provide a longer duration of protection as compared to sprays and aerosols.
3. Do a Tick Check After Your Outing
It’s important to do a thorough check of your body once you’ve finished your outdoor activity. Ticks can cling onto your skin and clothing and go unbeknownst to you. By doing a thorough check, you’ll be able to spot any ticks and remove them immediately.
a. Look Out for Common Bite Signs
A tick bite can be difficult to spot. So if you’re worried about infection, watch out for common bite signs. These include a rash near the bite location, inflammation, fatigue, fever and itching. If you have any of these symptoms, then it’s best to consult a doctor.
b. Heal the Bite with Ointments
If you do notice a tick bite, it is important to clean and disinfect the area. Use an antibacterial ointment, like Neosporin, to help the skin heal faster. This will also help prevent infection.
4. Exercise Caution When Going Into High Risk Areas
Ticks thrive in areas with tall grass, shrubs and wooded regions. Therefore, you should take extra precaution when going into such areas. Wear appropriate clothing like gardening boots, long pants and long-sleeved shirts especially if you’re hiking, camping or playing sports.
a. Avoid Bushes and Overgrown Grass
When in these areas, it’s best to avoid standing in the middle of tall grass, bushes and overgrown grass. Also, be sure to do your regular tick check when you leave these areas. Ticks are most likely to latch on when you’re walking through tall grass, so try to stick to the trails and pavements as much as you can.
b. Clean Your Outdoor Areas
If you have a backyard or garden, then you should regularly clean it by removing the vegetation and piles of leaves. Get rid of the leaf litter, branches and twigs to lessen the tick threat.
5. Take Precautions with Your Pets
Ticks don’t only cling onto people, but also onto pets. Pets can bring indoors ticks which can latch onto you or your family members. So it’s important to take extra precautions with your pets.
a. Regularly Check Your Pet’s Body
If you have pets that go outdoors, then regularly check them for ticks. As soon as you notice one, take it off immediately and disinfect the area. Consulting a vet is also advisable if you’re uncertain how to remove the tick.
b. Give your Pet Tick Preventative Medication
There are lots of tick preventative medications available for pets like chewables, tablets, spot-ons, collars and injections. Ask your vet for the best medication for your pet according to its size and lifestyle.
6. People Also Ask
Q: How do you know if you have a tick bite?
A tick bite can appear as a small, red bump with a darker-colored center. If the tick has been feeding on the victim’s skin, the telltale sign is a red bull’s eye pattern. The victim may also feel localized pain or itching around the bite area.
Q: How long does it take for a tick to attach?
It can take anywhere from 2 to 48 hours for a tick to latch onto a person’s skin. It all depends on how long the tick has been seeking a host, how close the person is to the infested area and the temperature of the atmosphere.
Q: What can you do with a tick after you remove it?
It is best to put the tick into a sealed container for later testing. If you wish to destroy it, then pour rubbing alcohol over the tick or flush it down the toilet.
Q: How to get rid of ticks in the house?
If you think you have ticks in the house, then it is important to do a thorough check. Check everywhere, including your carpets, curtains and furniture cushions, as they can be hiding spots for ticks. If you find any, it’s best to call an exterminator to get rid of them.
Q: Is DEET effective against ticks?
Yes, DEET is one of the most effective agents for protecting against ticks, mosquitoes and other insects. Just be careful when using it, following the instructions given by the manufacturer.
Ticks can be a scary and dangerous nuisance. While there is no guarantee in ridding yourself of all ticks, there are several simple steps you can take to lower the risk of catch onto ticks and the diseases they can spread. When venturing outdoors, remember to wear light-colored clothing, use repellents, do a tick check and take extra precautions when going in high-risk areas. If you own a pet, remember to regularly check