Tick Time Bomb
Now that Cicada season is coming to an end it’s time to shift the focus to TICKS! The Weather Chanel has referred to this year, 2021 as the “tick time bomb” due to the mild winter and climate change. And data from the CDC shows tick bites are already trending higher than in past years at this time. Ticks carry disease so it’s important to know how to protect yourself and how to treat a bite.
To prevent bites, the CDC recommends applying a tick repellent that contains at least 20% DEET, or IR3535 on exposed skin and avoiding wooded and brushy areas with high grass. If you go hiking, walk in the center of trails instead of near brush where ticks are likely to hang out. When you come inside, try to shower within 2 hours and make sure to check your skin and hair for lingering critters. Also, washing your clothing in hot water will help ensure ticks are killed.
If you find a tick on your body, the CDC recommends removing it as soon as possible. Here’s how:
- Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to your skin’s surface as possible.
- Pull upward with steady, even pressure. (Don’t twist or jerk the tick—that can cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in your skin.)
- Clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
- Dispose of the tick by flushing it down the toilet or putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag or container, and wrapping it tightly in tape. (Many people prefer to keep the tick, just in case they experience odd symptoms and need the insect for testing.)
Stay safe during those outdoor adventures!