How To Keep Ticks Away

Don’t get ticked off! Use these helpful tips to before you go outdoors

From the LifeMinute.TV

May 31, 2023

Ticks are found in brushy, wooded, or grassy areas – even on animals. And just walking outside in your backyard with your dog, gardening, hiking, or camping could bring you near them. Exposure can occur year-round, but ticks are most active between April and September. Here is advice to help you, your family, and your pets avoid ticks – and what to do if you get bitten.

Tick-Free Zone
Keep your lawn well-manicured by mowing it frequently and removing any leaf litter. If you live near a wooded area, create a 3-foot-wide barrier of wood chips or gravel separating your manicured yard and lawn from the wooded area. Keep playground equipment, decks, and patios away from yard edges and trees. Remove old furniture, mattresses, or trash from the yard that can give ticks a place to hide.

Happy Trails
Limit exposure to wooded, overgrown areas, and avoid going into tall grass and brush. When hiking, stay on marked trails, in the middle of the paths, away from from the high bush edges. Wear lightweight, long sleeved shirts and pants tucked into socks and shoes. 

Treat clothing, boots, and other gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin, a chemical that remains protective through several clothes washing. You can also buy permethrin-treated clothing and camping gear. Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanoate. Always follow product instructions. And do not use products containing OLE or PMD on children under three years old.

Body Check
Check your body for ticks after returning from potentially tick-infested areas. Use a mirror to view all parts of your body. Check under arms, in and around ears, inside your belly button, back of the knees, in and around your hair, between the legs, and around the waist.

Once you come indoors, tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing. If the clothes are damp, more time may be necessary. If the clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended. The temperature of the water should be at least 130 degrees. 

See your doctor if you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick. Other common symptoms of tick-related illnesses include fever/chills, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches. Dogs are susceptible to tick bites and tickborne diseases, so talk to your veterinarian about the best tick-prevention products for your pet. 

Tweeze Without Twisting
If you find a tick attached to your skin, remove the tick immediately. Use clean, fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Avoid twisting or jerking the tick. This can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If that happens, remove the mouth parts with tweezers. If you can't easily remove the mouth, leave it alone and let the skin heal. Once the tick is removed, clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. Discard a live tick by putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape. 

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