Ticks are very active this time of year. With the falling leaves piling up, and the damp weather making the brush a hospitable place for them to hide, New Englanders need to be extra cautious when venturing outdoors.
The American Dog Tick, BlackLegged Deer Tick, and the Lone Star Tick are common in the Northeast. Their tiny stature can let them go undetected and feed off animals and humans for up to 10 days. An engorged appearance presents with a swollen body that could be attached to skin or found near the tick’s host. Below, we see the difference in size and form of the well fed tick.
There are a number of ways to remove a tick attached to skin. They even sell specific tools to help you expel the insect from the body. However, you don’t need more than a pointed tweezer for a proper 3-Step process that is a quick and simple method to removing ticks.
- Using a fine-tipped tweezer, grab hold of the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
- Use slow, steady motion to pull upward and expel the tick. *You don’t want to twist or jerk the tick as it can cause parts to break off and remain in the skin.
- Clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
With the live tick in your tweezer’s grasp, flush it down the toilet or place it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape. Never, try to squeeze or crack a live tick with your bare hands.
The biggest concern surround tick bites are communicable disease. The Lyme infection, in particular, is transmittable by ticks in the Northeast. Typically, a tick needs to be attached to a person’s body for 34-36 hours to spread the bacteria into the bloodstream. However, due to their diminutive size, ticks can remain hidden on the body for days until fully engorged.
Once you’ve removed a tick from your skin, you should monitor the area for up to a month for early signs of Lyme Disease. These flu-like symptoms may include fever, chills, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes. Approximately 70-80% of Lyme sufferers show signs of a rash after a tick bite. It may expand gradually over a period of days, feel warm to the touch, or present a “bullseye” pattern. If you experience any of these symptoms post tick bite, seek medical attention and get tested for Lyme.
Avoid Tick Bites
As New Englanders, you can’t avoid ticks completely. However, you can take steps to prevent being bitten by ticks and minimizing the risk of ticks showing up in your home.
- Dogs & Cats – Your canine companion and outdoor kitty should be protected against ticks. From treated collars to medicated topicals, there are plenty of products on the market that will repel ticks and reduce the instance of live ticks in your home.
- Property Maintenance – Fall clean up can reduce a tick-infested environment. Clear the leaves and brush around your land, stack woodpiles away from the home, and cut tall grass or weeds to keep ticks close to the ground and off your body.
- When hiking or working in wooded areas, cover your body with long sleeves and pants, tuck socks into pants to avoid bare skin, wear a hat to cover your hair, and light colored clothing to make it easier to spot any ticks on you. Use insect repellent with DEET to deter bugs. When re-entering your home, inspect your body and clothing for any signs of ticks.
Commercial grade yard or garden treatments that are environmentally friendly can help prevent ticks. Contact Expert Pest Control to learn about the eco and pet friendly solutions available to property owners and managers that manage the occurrence of insects in outdoor spaces. We offer a number of treatment options that minimize the risk of ticks, and subsequently, tick-borne illness.
As New England’s local pest control company, our professionals provide prompt, friendly service to our area neighbors. We can help you contain pests and insects, clear your property of rodents and wildlife, and offer management programs to create a barrier against future infestation. Call us today at (800) 235-3093 or request a quote and to learn how you can protect your home and family with regular treatment this summer season.