When enjoying outdoor activities, don't forget to take steps to prevent bites from ticks that share the outdoors. Ticks can infect humans with bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause serious illness. There are a number of different types of ticks found in the USA including the Wood tick, Dog tick, Relapsing fever tick, Pajaroello tick, Deer tick, Black-legged tick and the Lone star tick.
Before you go outdoors.
Know where to expect ticks. Ticks live in moist and humid environments, particularly in or near wooded or grassy areas. You may come into contact with ticks during outdoor activities around your home or when walking through leaf litter or near shrubs.
Always walk in the center of trails in order to avoid contact with ticks. Products containing permethrin kill ticks. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear and remain protective through several washings.
Use a repellent with DEET on skin. Repellents containing 20% or more DEET can protect up to several hours. Always follow product instructions. Parents should apply this product to their children, avoiding the hands, eyes, and mouth.
Checking for ticks.
You should check your pet for ticks every day, especially during tick season, or year-round in warmer climates. Conduct a full body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas, which even includes your back yard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Check these parts of your body and your child's body for ticks: 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
For your pets, run your fingers through their fur while applying enough pressure to feel any small bumps. Make certain to check between your pet’s toes, behind the ears, under armpits and around the tail and head. If you do feel a bump, pull the fur apart to see what’s there. A tick that has embedded itself in can also vary in size, they can be as small as a pinhead to as large as a grape, depending on how long it has been attached.
Why should ticks be removed?
It is extremely important to remove ticks affixed to the skin as soon as possible, as ticks can transmit serious disease to animals and humans including:
- In People: rickettsiosis, Lyme disease, tick-borne encephalitis, tick-fever
- In Animals: babesiosis, ehrlichiosis and Lyme disease in dogs, babesiosis in horses, haemobartonellosis in cats, babesiosis and ehrlichiosis in cattle.
Removing embedded ticks is a delicate operation and when you use the wrong tools it’s easy for a piece of the tick to break off and remain in the skin. DO NOT squeeze or crush the body of the tick because this may force infective body fluids through the mouthparts and into the wound site. DO NOT apply substances such as petroleum jelly, finger nail polish, finger nail polish remover, repellents, pesticides, or a lighted match to the tick while it is attached. These materials are either ineffective, or worse, might agitate the tick and cause it to force more infective fluid into the wound site.
Blue Seal carries both the Tick Twister® and Cheek-Key Tick Removers which are the most efficient and ideal tools you can use to remove a tick without squeezing the body or leaving the tick's mouth-parts in the skin. With these tools you can confidently remove ticks anywhere and from any location on both people or animals.
Reduce your chances of getting a tickborne disease by using repellents, checking for ticks, and showering after being outdoors. If you have a tick bite followed by a fever or rash, seek medical attention.