WARNING: Tick Season is Upon Us
Those little nasty creepy crawlers that find their way on your dogs, cats, and even on you are back with a vengeance this year. How can you prevent finding one crawling up your leg this year? Just how bad will tick season be in 2017?
To answer the second question I'm going to refer to my brother Kyle who keeps coming home with unwanted tag a longs. He works outside and has had an insane amount of ticks on himself the past few weeks. According to Kyle he has found at least one tick everyday for almost 3 weeks. On the worst day he had 8 ticks on him. I've found two ticks lingering in the bathroom that came off of Kyle last week. I used to work at a summer camp in Waretown and I don't remember having one tick on me.
Now let's go to science class with Chelsea where I give you the SparkNotes version of something sciencey. Yes, I know that's not a real word.
Two years ago there were a ton of acorns in the northeast. Did I grab your attention yet? With the increase of acorns last year there were more white-footed mice. Guess who likes latching onto mice for a quick meal? Ding, ding, ding! Ticks! Want to hear something gross? Dozens of ticks can make a meal out of one mouse. I thought Kyle had it rough. The mice carry some nasty bacteria, some of which cause Lyme disease. The real scientists, not me, hypothesize that this year Lyme disease will be worse from now until early summer.
Sounds just lovely right?
How can you better protect yourself from these vermin?
For starters you want to avoid wooded areas and high grass. If you are hiking or walking through a park stay on the trails.
Wear light clothes. No, ticks are not repelled by light colors. However, this will help you spot them crawling up your leg.
Make DEET your BFF. Now this will repel those nasty ticks. It smells nasty, but the smell is better than getting bit and getting Lyme disease.
Make sure your furry friends are up to date with their flea and tick medicine.
Check yourself for ticks. Brad Paisley is a professional at checking for ticks.
Let's say you've done all of this, you've even called Brad Paisley for a personal examination, but a tick still found a meal aka you. What should you do?
Panic! Run around and scream your head off this will scare the tick away. Ok, I'm kidding.
Grab a pair of tweezers and maybe a close friend if it is in a hard to reach area. Grab the tick as close as you can to the head and pull it slowly out. Don't twist, turn, jerk, or jiggle the tick.
Once you got that sucker out you can exact your revenge. How do you kill a tick? I'm so glad you asked! According to the CDC you can, "...[submerse] it in alcohol, [place] it in a sealed bag/container, [wrap] it tightly in tape, or [flush] it down the toilet." See what the CDC has to say about ticks here.
Don't forget to clean the area and check back for a bulls-eye mark. This could indicate Lyme disease. Check with your doctor if any symptoms such as a bull-eyes mark, headaches, nerve pain, irregular heart beat, stiffness, or joint pain arise.
Go out and live your outdoor life tick free!