Guest Blog Post By Penny Marti, Fureverfriend.info
As the weather warms we turn our thoughts to summer. Summer is a glorious time filled with endless days, vacations, baseball and delicious food. We also tend to spend a lot of time outside, which is where one of the worst parts of summer kicks in: ticks. There’s nothing worse than heading outside for some fun and relaxation, only to head back inside to cool off and find a tick latched onto your leg. Although we often associate these tiny critters with summer, they can be a nuisance every other season too. Here are a few tips on how to protect against those bites as well as advice on what to do if you are bitten no matter the time of year.
An Ounce of Prevention
The best way to deal with ticks is to not get bitten in the first place. One of the easiest (and most expensive) ways to do this is to get the ticks out of your yard and home by hiring a pest-control service. The average national cost of hiring a pest-control service ranges from about $108 to $262. You’ll also have to have the company come back at regular intervals to repeat the treatments.
Other methods also work well to protect you from tick bites. While it might make you a bit warm, try wearing protective clothing if you know you’ll be around tall grass or deep in the woods. Wear long-sleeved clothes, long pants tucked into socks, and close-toed shoes with thick socks.
You should also do a tick check on the whole family—including your furry friends— at the end of a long day outside. In fact, just make it part of your daily routine. If someone does get a tick, then you know it will have been attached for less than a day. As you check everyone for ticks, pay special attention to ears, belly buttons and scalps - these are popular hiding places for the little buggers.
In addition, try to stay away from places where ticks tend to hang out, such as standing water and thick woods. Keep your dog from these areas. If you have a play set or outdoor play equipment such as a trampoline or basketball court, resist the urge to put it in a shaded area. Place the play structure in direct sunlight and at least 10 feet away from wooded areas. Ticks can’t thrive in the heat, so staying away from their cool, shady habitat will lower the chances of one latching on.
What to Do with Tick Bites
If you are indeed bitten by a tick, your first step is to get the tick off your dogs body. The easiest way to do this is with tweezers. Get them as close as possible to the head of the tick, which means you’ll put the tweezers as close to your skin as you can before you pull the tick out. It’s important that you get the tick out as soon as you can. Ticks are carriers of lyme disease, which causes symptoms that can linger for months or years and is often misdiagnosed. Reduce the chances of getting lyme disease by checking for ticks and removing them as quickly as possible. The same process and procedures will work if you find ticks on your pets as well.
Keep yourself healthy and happy by avoiding tick bites all year long. Protect yourself and be sure to always check for ticks after a long day of outdoor frolicking. If a tick hitches a ride, use tweezers to properly remove them and keep an eye out for symptoms that could point to lyme disease. With the right preparations and precautions, ticks won’t ruin your summertime fun.