Tick Season Best Practices

If you’re worried about ticks this spring, you have good reason to be. Ticks transmit Lyme disease, which is an infection that affects the nervous system and joints. There is currently no vaccine that can prevent tick-borne disease, but there are things you can do to protect yourself from tick bites in the first place.

Remember, active tick season is from April through September. Here’s what you can do to stay safe:

  • Keep leaf litter and other debris away from your home, which is where they like to hide. Keep your kids’ play equipment out in the sun, as ticks like shady, moist places. Keep your grass trimmed so they can’t hide on long blades of grass.
  • Wear shoes, long pants and socks whenever you go outside. Ticks don’t normally fall from trees. They live at ground level.
  • PurchaseBottom of Form permethrin-treated clothing, which is a type of clothing used by the military to guard against biting insects. You can also spray your clothing with the insecticide DEET but this is best for adults and not kids.
  • Do regular body checks. This is easiest when taking a shower after being outside. Deer ticks are tiny – about the size of poppy seeds. They like to attach to shady places like the groin area, as well as in hair, behind knees and around ears.
  • Visit your doctor if a tick has been attached for more than 36 hours. Ticks don’t usually transmit disease until this time.
  • Wear light-colored clothing so you can more readily spot dark-colored ticks.
  • After disrobing, place your clothes in the dryer for 15 minutes to let the heat kill any ticks. Only then should you put your clothes in the wash.
  • If you see a tick crawling on your skin, grab it and throw it away or flush it. If you can’t readily grab it, use a piece of tape.
  • If the tick is lodged in your skin, don’t panic. Do not take a match to it and do not burn it. Don’t slather petroleum jelly or nail polish on it because you heard this is a good way to smother it. You can cause an infection that way. Using a clean pair of tweezers, grasp the tick by its tiny head and take it out. This will ensure you remove the whole tick and or just part. Remaining bits that stay in the skin can cause infection or irritation at the very least. Apply some disinfectant and a bandage. If you found the tick relatively quickly, there should be no need to worry.
  • If you’re concerned about tick infestation in or around your home, call Cavanaugh’s Professional Termite and Pest Services right away.