Ticks aren’t just creepy little bugs, they are also the harbingers of disabling and even deadly disease. Most people know about Lyme’s disease, but ticks in North America can transmit 15 serious illness. Some of the diseases are newly discovered, leaving open the possibility that there could be more illnesses spread by these parasites than we know about today. But there are steps that you can take to protect yourself and your family if you are headed out into tick country. Here are a few of those precautions.
Ticks tend to be, though not always, in predictable locations. These would include areas of high grass and under the broad boughs of trees where there is a lot of material underneath for them to hide in. As much as it is possible, avoid these areas, at least avoid spending too much time in these areas. Do not take a rest to eat or worse yet sleep in these areas.
Unfortunately you probably won’t be able to completely avoid ticks if you are in tick country. So to protect yourself from the ticks you do come in contact with bring along some flea collars for pets. Place these around your ankles, but do so in a way that you do not allow it to touch your skin. If you didn’t plan ahead, you can get a lesser degree of protection by tying up the bottom of your pant legs and tucking them into your socks. If you do this, tie the extra material of the pant leg in the back, it will hold better there.
For all the ticks that manage to get past these defenses you will need to get them off, or rather out of your skin. This is easier said than done. If the tick is large, grasp it and turn it to the left as if you were unscrewing it. If it is too small to grasp, apply a little soap and rub your finger around the tick in a circular motion. If this doesn’t work try to use a stick with a hot ember to carefully incitivise the tick leaving.
Check every day for ticks while there is still light in the sky. The longer the tick is in your skin the greater the chance of it being able to spread disease.
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