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Tick Prevention 101: Don’t Let Ticks Make You Sick

6/14/2017 1:30 AM Comments Posted By Floralyn Teodoro
‘Tis the season to watch out for ticks and the dangers they can bring you like tick-borne illnesses, Powassan, and Lyme disease.

According to Tom Rogers of the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, this year is going to be a bad tick year. And, the tick season is something to be taken seriously as it can bring about serious health issues like tick-borne illnesses, Powassan, and Lyme disease.

All about ticks

Ticks are very small 8-legged arachnids that live by feeding on the blood of both humans and animals. These ticks sometimes carry diseases and viruses in their bites. However, due to their size, they are most often mistaken as dirt or freckles; making them unnoticeable.

Ticks commonly live in outdoor areas where lots of tall grasses, leaves, and shrubs are found. They then wait for an animal or human to attach themselves to. After that, the ticks will bite into the animal or person’s skin to feed on their blood for a few days until they are full.

Tick prevention tips

Most often, it’s hard to notice ticks and tick bites because they are so tiny and their bites usually don’t hurt. However, by biting into an animal or a person, they can transmit viruses and diseases to their prey. To avoid this, here are tips on how to prevent ticks from making you sick:

  • Wear insect repellant especially before you go outdoors or in areas with thick and tall bushes, grasses, and weeds.
  • During hikes, always walk in the center of the trails. But, before that, make sure to wear light-colored long sleeves and pants. Tuck your pant legs into high socks as well to avoid ticks from attaching to you.
  • If you’re spending a lot of time outdoors, consider using clothes and camping gears that are treated with permethrin.
  • After returning home after some time outdoors, make sure to give yourself a thorough tick check from head to toe. In case you find a tick attached to your clothes or skin, remove it slowly but steadily to avoid breaking its mouthparts. After removing the ticks, wash the area with soap and water.
  • During the tick season, make it a practice to shower or take a bath after you return home from the outside. More than giving you an opportunity to have a thorough tick check, showering can also help wash off unattached ticks from your skin. It can also reduce your risks of getting Lyme disease.
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  • After coming in from the outdoors, toss your clothes straight into the dryer for at least ten minutes on high to kill ticks.
  • If you have pets, make sure to always give them a thorough tick check. Give them a good spray with a hose right after.
  • Keep your yard free from ticks by removing habitats that may be attractive to ticks such as piles of leaves and shrubs.
  • Remove any plant that may attract deer to enter your yard. Prevent these deer from bringing ticks into your home.
  • Last but not the least, be aware of the latest news, updates, etc. about the tick infestation in your area of residence. You can also visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s site for more info about ticks.

Protect your home and your family from the dangers of tick infestation. Follow the above tick prevention tips so you can be tick-free this summer and all-year round. Try your best not to let ticks make you sick. Prevention is key!

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