Mosquito season may be drawing to a close, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop putting on bug repellent when you go for a hike or do outdoor work. Ticks in the fall are still very much active. Mosquitoes may be more common and annoying, but ticks are far more dangerous. They feed directly on your blood, meaning they can exchange diseases they carry very easily. Many of these diseases are lifelong conditions that can impact your life, or that can prove fatal, including Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Ehrlichiosis. Making tick removal imperative!
You can use DEET repellents on your skin. As long as you don’t soak yourself in it every day, experts say you should be fine. Permethrin is also effective, but not as safe to use as DEET. Permethrin is OK to use on clothes, but don’t apply it to your skin. Ask your veterinarian before applying any repellent to an animal, including dogs. Different repellents interact with different animals and breeds in different ways.
Since it’s getting cooler, it’s also easier to wear long pants and shirts on your hike. Even if you apply DEET and wear long clothing, this isn’t a surefire way to prevent ticks. You should check yourself and your pets for ticks by running your hands over your body. Check for bumps, and then examine them more closely. Ticks can crawl. They’re quite mobile, so even if you wore long pants and a long-sleeve shirt, check your whole body.
If you find a tick, tick removal must be done in a particular way. If you pull a tick out roughly, its head will dislodge and remain impacted beneath your skin. It will still draw blood and be able to transmit diseases to you. Use tweezers, press them on either side of the tick, as close to the head as possible, grasping the tick without squeezing too hard, and slowly remove the entire tick. Do not twist. If you have doubts about whether you removed the entire tick, you can always place it in a sealed bag and bring it by our office. We’ll take a look and tell you.
Check immediately after a hike. Ticks won’t transmit diseases in the first day, but usually only in subsequent days when they’re attached to you. Contact Ransford Pest today for help with tick control or tick removal.