Ticks are interesting (yet potentially dangerous) pests that people and animals should avoid. These arachnids feast on the blood of their hosts and carry pathogens that transmit diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Ticks are most often found in wooded and grassy areas.
How they Attach
With its back legs, a tick dangles from a limb or a blade of grass and looks for a host. Its free front legs hook the skin and/or clothes of a person as they pass. Once on the host, a tick will find a patch of skin to burrow. Left alone, it will engorge itself with blood. If it is disturbed, a tick’s head will separate from its body and become lodged subcutaneously (below the skin). Any pathogens carried by the pest are then released into the host’s bloodstream.
If you spend a great deal of time outdoors, it’s likely you will come into contact with ticks. Activities like camping, hunting, hiking, and berry-picking exponentially increase a person’s potential exposure. There are several ways however, to protect against tick bites.
Repellents containing at least a 20 percent concentration of DEET can deter a tick from latching. DEET products are safe for use on skin and clothing. The effects of DEET wear away within hours, so consistent reapplication is advised. Be aware that DEET products are not recommended for babies or small children.
Solutions containing permethrin kill ticks on contact. This substance dissolves the exoskeletons of pests, but should only be applied to clothing, not skin. Permethrin sprays are effective for personal protection, or as a general exterior pest prevention method.
Some brands of outdoor clothing are pre-treated with tick repellent. These items are great for older kids attending camp, and wearing for activities in wild areas. If these clothes are not available in your area, dress in a manner that exposes the least amount of skin by covering arms, legs, and wearing long socks.
Regular Visual Checks
Some ticks appear as tiny black dots. Others are quite large and can be blue, red, or white. The best way to prevent tick bites is to regularly check for them on clothing, in hair, and on skin. Do not use bare hands to remove ticks; use a pair of tweezers. If a tick is latched to the skin, use an insecticide, a sterilized needle, or tweezers to carefully remove it, including the head. Seek medical attention immediately.
While preventing tick bites in the wilderness is inconvenient, preventing them at home is much easier. Mr. Pest Control can minimize the risk of tick infestations in your home, office, and around the yard. Contact us company at (705) 739.7378 to talk about eliminating tick dangers.