Ticks: Keep these creepy crawly critters away!
How can I protect myself?
Steps to protect against bites and possible illness include: Avoiding tall grassy areas or areas with heavy vegetation, use DEET 20% on skin or permethrin on clothing/shoes, shower immediately after coming spending time outdoors, wash clothing and dry on high heat for at least 10 minutes, treat pets as they may carry ticks indoors and check body thoroughly after spending time outdoors (CDC, 2017).
If you find a tick, remove it immediately by scraping it off with your fingernail or grasping with tweezers close to the head and removing. If you find a tick biting you, place the tick in a plastic ziplock bag after removing. Most tick born illnesses will present within 24 hours to two weeks after a bite.
Signs and symptoms of illness most commonly will be fever, aches/pains, rash or ulcer which may present within hours after a bite or as long as 30 days after the bite. There are 15 illnesses spread by ticks and most cause serious illness requiring antibiotic therapy. Lyme Dz, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, tularemia, and now, Powasson Fever are the most common in the US. Several of these illnesses are often fatal if treatment is notreceived immediately (CDC, 2017).
So, make sure you take care, stay healthy and don’t let any critters take a bite out of you this summer!
Did you know?
According to the Mayo Clinic (2017) and other health experts, 2017 is likely to be an unprecedented year for ticks and tick-borne illnesses.
Ample rainfall, a warmer winter and increased supply of hosts (mice, deer and other wildlife) are contributing factors. Ticks may have up to a 2-3 year lifecycle (CDC, 2017). May through July is the peak time most humans will experience tick bites and illness; however they remain active from May
through early fall (CDC, 2017)
Where are they?
Ticks lay dormant throughout the cold season under dead leaves and vegetation. As they become active in warm weather, they like tall grassy areas where they can climb, extend their legs and attach to warm blooded hosts for a nice blood meal (Mayo, 2017).
Watch the video link below for information: