According to the CDC, ticks are a year-round issue but are most active in warmer months which are April to September. Where different kinds of ticks can be found most commonly depends on where you live. The CDC has a link to which ticks are most common in your area here.
Why Should Ticks Be Avoided?
Ticks can carry serious diseases with them. They can cause Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever which can be fatal. But that’s not all. Ticks can carry an array of other diseases such as Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Southern tick-associated rash illness, Tick-borne relapsing fever, Colorado tick fever, Powassan virus infection and Tularemia.
None of these illnesses or diseases are ideal and some are deadly. Avoiding ticks and knowing how to treat a tick bite if found on the body can be a matter of life and death in some cases.
Where Are Ticks Found?
Ticks can be found in grassy areas, brush, the woods or even on other animals. Most ticks are found near homes and yards. While avoiding ticks in the outdoors is basically impossible, you can prevent tick bites through the use of tick repellents that are registered with the EPA. The CDC suggests using repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. There is a tool on the EPA’s website to find a product to best suit your needs and tell you which ones to use with children.
Check for Tick Bites
One of the best things you can do to avoid illness from ticks is check for bites once you are indoors. Even as you check the body it is vital to make sure that you are checking everywhere and keeping an eye out for the bites and for the ticks themselves. Showering within two hours of coming indoors can greatly reduce the risk for ticks and bites as well.
While avoiding the bites and ticks all together is obviously the best case scenario, there are times when bites happen and ticks are found. When this happens, the CDC has a list of protocols you should follow.
- If a tick is found, remove it immediately.
- Grasp the tick with tweezers, as close to the skin as possible, and pull it out. There is a tick removal page that offers tips and techniques for when a tick is found.
- Watch and know the signs of sickness such as rash or fever in the days and weeks following the bite. Risks for illness depend on different factors so be sure to see a doctor if you become sick, notice a rash or develop a fever.
Ticks can be a scary thought, but fear not! Avoiding ticks and preventing illness is still possible. When a tick bite or tick is found, knowing the proper treatment is vital in your health. Springtime marks the beginning of tick season so be sure to familiarize yourself with treatments and repellents to have a safe spring!