Ticks are out there

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Far too often we concern ourselves with protecting our skin against mosquitos, but forget there’s another blood sucking critter out in the woods, ticks.

If you’re like me and don’t spend a lot of time in the woods, you will rarely come across one of these arachnids, much less find one crawling on your pants leg.

Try as you might, it’s nearly impossible to crush a tick. No matter how much force you exert, they just keep crawling.

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And much like any other pest, where you find one, there are certainly more. That fact will lead to a full body inspection upon your return home to ensure one did not find a way to your skin.

Now that the weather is ideal for outdoor activities that don’t involve a lot of mosquitos, we may find ourselves in the woods more often.

To prevent these creatures from finding a free meal, take the following precautions.

If you can, stay in the center of trails and out of areas where there’s tall grass or a lot of leaves while exploring wooded areas.

Before you head out on your adventure, do a bit of prep work by adding a product containing DEET. You can even treat your clothing with a product containing permethrin.

From time to time a tick may find its way to your skin and latch on. At that point stay calm and make efforts to remove it. Since ticks do carry some serious diseases, you don’t want to wait for it to decide to move on.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the best approach is to use a pair of fine tipped tweezers to firmly grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible and remove it as soon as it’s discovered. Afterwards, disinfect the area with alcohol, iodine or soap. 

To kill the tick once it’s removed, put it in a container with alcohol, wrap it in tape or flush it.

The CDC advises against the use of a lighter or painting it with nail polish to remove a tick.