As the summer months roll in so does tick season, but what are ticks, and are they really that dangerous to us? Ticks are related to spiders, so they have eight legs. They have flat, oval bodies that swell when they eat. And they feed on the blood of animals and people. Read on to learn more about how to prevent ticks from getting on people and pets, the dangers of them, and when it may be time to seek medical attention.
Healthy Tip Tuesday is brought to you in partnership with Trinity Health Systems
The CDC has the Get the Tips Stop the Ticks campaign, which is all about prevention. Here are some key points.
- Know where ticks live: tall grass, bushy areas, and in the woods
- A person can get a tick on them even if a person lives in a city
- Always check clothes, hair, and skin before coming inside for ticks
- Spray clothing with EPA approved insect repellant
- When hiking, walk in the center of the trail
- Shower soon after being outdoors
- Mow the yard frequently
Ticks enjoy certain parts of the body:
- Under the arms
- In and around the ears
- Inside belly button
- Back of the knees
- In and around the hair
- Between the legs
- Around the waist
If there is a tick on the skin, remove it right away if possible. How to remove a tick:
- Use fine-tipped tweezers to get to as close to the tick as possible. Where its body meets the skin.
- Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Do not twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouthparts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
- After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
- Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet.
The most common tick-borne illnesses are Lyme’s Disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. These come with a delayed reaction of 3 days to 2 weeks.
Call the doctor if you have been bitten by a tick, and have any of these symptoms, as these could lead to life-threatening illnesses.