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Be Tick Smart

Tiny Ticks, Can Cause Big Health Problems

  • Lyme disease: Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected ticks. Lyme disease can affect different parts of the body, such as the nervous system, joints, skin, and the heart. If diagnosed in the early stages, Lyme disease can be cured with antibiotics.
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever: Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a bacterial disease spread through the bite of an infected tick. RMSF can cause inflammation of the brain, heart, and lungs. It can also cause serious damage to internal organs, such as your kidneys. It is much more important to receive prompt treatment for this bite to make a full recovery.
  • Paralysis caused by a tick: This is caused by a neurotoxin produced in engorged and egg-laden female ticks and then secreted by the tick when she feeds. This can occur when the tick is attached close to the spine or base of the skull.

Don’t Let a Tick Make You Sick

  • Use Tick Repellant- Use a chemical repellent with DEET, permethrin or picaridin. Find clothing that contains permethrin and treat outdoor gear before spending time outside.
  • Avoid High Grass and Wooded Areas- Walk in the center of a hiking trail to avoid brushing against vegetation and decrease your chances of picking up a tick.
  • Wear Protective Clothing- When you are in unprotected areas, wear clothing that covers your body, tuck your pants into your boots or socks, and cover your head with a hat or bandana.
  • Conduct a Full-body Tick Check- Always check your skin when you return indoors and every 2-3 hours while you are outside. A few places ticks are commonly found are around your scalp, and belly button, by your armpits, ears, on the backside of your knees, and between your legs.
  • Treat Your Pets- Ticks don’t discriminate, they love to attach onto any mammal that comes there way. If you’ve been outside with a pet, make sure to check that they are tick-free as well.

How to Keep Ticks Out of Your Yard

  • Apply a pesticide to your yard and follow the instructions. There are even organic types of yard control on the market. The last of April through mid-May is the best time to begin yard treatments.
  • Ticks do not thrive in short vegetation, keeping grass short and weeds cut will reduce the amount of ticks in your yard.
  • Discourage unwelcome animals (such as deer, raccoons, and stray dogs) from entering your yard by constructing fences.

How to Remove a Tick

Many home remedies DO NOT WORK on tick removal, these methods like nail polish, alcohol, petroleum jelly, and a hot match can force infected fluids back into the bite. Instead:

  • Sanitize the area and tweezers.
  • Grasp the tick with tweezers by its head and as close to the skin as you can.
  • Slowly and carefully pull straight up.
  • Sanitize the area again after removal.

For more information about removing a tick safely watch a demonstrated video by following this link