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Ticked Off: Keeping Clear Of Ticks This Summer

Ticks are among the most hated insects on the planet, harboring disease and stealthily feeding off the blood of those they attack. They’re actually closely related to spiders and are considered arachnids and they live in every single state in the U.S.

Dozens of diseases are spread by ticks, Lyme Disease being the most common and likely most feared. Once infected, a person with Lyme Disease may not show symptoms for many years – there i no known cure for Lyme disease once it’s set in. Other nasty diseases spread by ticks include Colorado fever, Q Fever, Tick Paralysis, and anaplasmosis.

The good news is, it’s relatively easy to stay clear of ticks or get rid of them once they strike. First and foremost, it’s a great idea to keep clear of the bugs in the first place, eliminating the possibility that you or your family members could be hiding a bug.

While some bug sprays have been shown to be minimally effective against ticks, the insects are attracted to heat and will seek a warm body out regardless of its smell. Ticks live in heavily-wooded areas, tall grass, and in any plant mater that provides them a constant source of water and blood. It’s best to avoid areas like this if you can, but that’s not always possible in summer months.

If you’ve been in a location you suspect may have had ticks, the best thing you can do as soon as you’re able is to check your body. If you have children and/or pets, it’s necessary to check them, too. Ticks squeeze themselves into tiny cracks and burrow into hair when possible, so be sure to pay particular attention to the scalp and in bodily crevices like inside ears and between toes.

When you spot a tick that’s attached, the best way to remove it is mechanically. There are dozens of old wives’ tales regarding removing ticks: from burning them off with matches to smothering them with Vaseline. In fact, the easiest method involves little more than a pair of tweezers and some patients. If the tick’s head remains attached to the body when the bug is removed, be sure to go back for the rest. There should be no bug matter remaining attached to the body as disease can be carried in any part of the tick. If you simply cannot remove the tick, see a doctor immediately.

Avoiding ticks is easy if you stay indoors and never wear clothes. Not a reality for most families! Staying vigilant and alert is the best way to mitigate your risk of tick-borne diseases in the summer and all throughout the year.

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