How To Combat Ticks?
Increasing evidence that ticks can withstand cold temperatures makes these pests a year-round problem. This resistance to colder weather has also allowed ticks to expand their habitat across the U.S. As a result, more and more people are encountering ticks in areas where they never were before. So, even if you live in an area that has traditionally been tick-free, don’t be surprised if you encounter ticks on your next outdoor adventure. Therefore, understanding the risks ticks pose and the best strategies for how to prevent ticks are of great importance in the fall and winter, regardless of where you live. Our guide on how to combat ticks will cover ways to prevent tick bites, how to check for ticks, and how to remove ticks safely.
How to Prevent Tick Bites
The following strategies are ways to prevent ticks from biting you, your loved ones, and your pets.
- Know where ticks hide. Ticks live in tall grass and wooded areas. Hunting, gardening, or spending time in your backyard are all activities where you, your family, and your pets could pick up a tick.
- Dress to avoid ticks. Wearing long sleeves and long pants, tucking the pant legs into your socks, and wearing boots and light-colored clothing can help prevent tick bites.
Use a chemical repellant. When hiking or camping, use a topical insect repellent containing DEET, permethrin, or picaridin.
- Check for ticks. Check kids, pets, and yourself for ticks when you come in from the outdoors.
- Utilize Mosquito Joe barrier treatments as an added layer of defense. Regular barrier treatments from Mosquito Joe eliminate ticks on your property and give you and your family peace of mind.
How to Check for Ticks
Regularly checking for ticks is an essential step for how to avoid tick bites. Removing a tick before it bites is one of the best ways to avoid tick-borne disease. Ticks can be as small as the tip of a pencil. Because they like to hide in warm places, they’re usually hidden and are difficult to find.
You likely won’t even feel a tick bite. When you come back indoors, check your kids, pets, and self in the following places to ensure you don’t have any lingering ticks:
- Under the arms
- In and around ears
- Inside the belly button
- Back of the knees
- In and around the hair
- Back of the neck
- Between legs
- Around the waist
Be sure to inspect outside gear and pets for ticks that could have latched on while outside. Additionally, throw clothing in the dryer for 10 minutes on high heat to remove any ticks.
Finally, taking a shower within two hours of being outdoors is a good way to prevent tick bites. It helps wash off unattached ticks, thereby decreasing the chance of contracting a tick-borne disease.
How to Properly Remove a Tick
Ignore the strange advice to burn an attached tick with a match or to paint it with nail polish. The proper way to remove a tick is essential for preventing infection:
- Don’t panic! Grab a pair of tweezers with a fine tip. This will be the best tool to remove the tiny insect.
- Pull upward using steady, even pressure. This motion will ensure that the tick’s mouthparts don’t break off and remain in the skin. If this does happen, use the fine-tipped tweezers to remove the mouthparts.
- Clean the bite. Use rubbing alcohol or soap and water to clean your hands, the infected area, and your tweezers.
- Dispose of the tick. Place the tick in alcohol, put it in a sealed container, wrap it in tape or flush it down the toilet. Don’t crush the tick between your fingers, as it could still transmit disease.
- Following up: check on the bite. If you develop a rash, fever, or any of the other symptoms associated with tick-borne disease, seek medical assistance. Tell your doctor about your recent tick bite, when the bite occurred, and where you acquired the bite.
Know the Symptoms of Tick-borne Illness
Numerous diseases can be caused by ticks, which is why it is essential to learn how to prevent ticks in your home and from biting you and your family. Knowing what types of ticks are prevalent in your area can help you better understand the risks of certain diseases. Fever, chills, aches, and pains are common across most tick-borne illnesses. However, many of the diseases have different and distinctive rashes.
Knowing what to look for could help you identify early signs of Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), or tularemia.
Contact Mosquito Joe for Effective Tick Control
Mosquito Joe’s barrier spray treatment is one of the best ways to avoid ticks. So, to make the outdoors fun again, contact us today and enjoy a bite-free yard! Our mosquito control barrier spray protects against ticks and other pests too.
Request a free quote online, and learn more about our upfront pricing. Or give us a call at 1-855-275-2563. We can help protect you and your family from ticks and other pests throughout the year.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ticks
What does a tick bite look like?
When you get a tick bite, the site becomes red, there is some slight swelling, and you may see a tiny puncture — they look very similar to flea and mosquito bites.
Tick bites typically don’t itch, and if you look closer, you may spot other differences:
- If the tick attaches, you will see the insect with its head embedded in the skin.
- If the tick gets knocked off, you may see a black center where there is red swelling. This means the tick’s mouthparts are still embedded under the skin.
- If the tick detaches or is removed properly, you may see the red swelling has a hardened center.
- If the tick carried and transmitted Lyme disease, you will see a characteristic bull’s eye rash. The small red swelling in the center is surrounded by unaffected skin that is surrounded by a reddened ring.
If you find one tick, will there be more?
If you are careful to examine for ticks after returning indoors, you may find a tick crawling on you. The good news is that unless it bites and embeds itself into your skin, it cannot infect you with any disease it might carry. However, it is true that when you find one tick, there will likely be more.
It’s best to shower as soon as you come indoors. This washes away any crawling ticks and gives you an excellent opportunity to search your body using your eyes and hands for any attached ticks.
How to prevent ticks on humans naturally?
One of the best ways to prevent ticks on humans is with the use of natural essential oils. Ticks avoid the smell of lemon, orange, lavender, cinnamon, rose geranium, and peppermint.
Make a DIY tick repellent by adding one or more of these essential oils to almond oil, then spray or rub the combination on your skin. This works well on humans, but cats and dogs may be sensitive to essential oils.
When are ticks most active?
Ticks are becoming more of a problem all year round and in areas where they traditionally have not been found. Tick activity usually peaks during the warmer months, from April through the end of September, but with a growing tolerance for colder temperatures, the potential for tick bites is present throughout the year.