Ticks are repulsive disease carriers and we all hate them; here’s what to do.
June is arguably the best month, while ticks are surely one of the worst things ever. Ever. Lyme disease, babesiosis, anaplasmosis – all caused by ticks. While June brings vacations, hiking and gardening it should also bring tick checks. Oh, the tick check. Not confined only to June. that most glorious of months, but from May through August those scarily ballooning blood suckers are active and looking for their next meal.
Franklin VNA & Hospice has these tips to remind us of some great ways to keep tick- free and also how to get rid of those hematophagic, ectoparasitic arachnids if one finds its evil little tick way onto you or anyone you even remotely like.
• First, avoid tick-infested areas such as overgrown grass, brush, and leaf litter and keep your lawn short and leaf-free so they have fewer places to hide.
• Next, chemical warfare: Use an insect repellent containing DEET or oil of lemon eucalyptus every time you spend time outdoors
• Then, wear protective clothing (long pants and long sleeves) to keep ticks off skin. This helps decrease your sun exposure also, and you’re already wearing your sun block daily, right?
• Oh, the tick check! Do daily tick checks on yourself, family members, and pets after being outdoors. Check between toes, all skin creases and on the scalp.
• Now, if one of those tiny blood-sucking critters does bite you and is imbedded in the skin, use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible or if none is available use your fingernails. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. You don’t want to squeeze them or tear the body off the head. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water. If you can, trap the tick between some clear tape to keep it from escaping and make identifying it easier.
• Last, speak with your doctor or other healthcare provider if you are bitten by a tick or if you notice a large bull’s-eye rash anywhere on you. Isn’t it good you have that tape-trapped tick to bring with you?
The Department of Health and Human Services has a great website (www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/lyme/index.htm) with more information and tick facts. Because you should keep your friends close, but your enemies closer….