It’s that time of the year again, when you put on that summer dress you've been saving for a picnic in the park or the shorts and cool backpack you picked up for a weekend camping trip. But as you travel from the city and into the woods it’s important to remember that these areas are prime tick spots.
Contrary to belief, various species of ticks are found throughout the country (including Hawaii) and the only state that is truly exempt is Alaska according to the United States Center for Disease Control. American dog ticks most commonly feed on humans and are largely found in all states east of the Rocky Mountains and in small numbers along the specific coast. Deer ticks also have been known to bite humans and occupy Northern Midwestern, Southeast, and Northeast states.
While the pesky insect’s distribution does include the majority of the country, you’ll be happy to know that the Tick Encounter confirms that most ticks do not carry organisms that transport Lyme disease and if removed properly within 24 hours of latching no virus will take form.
The months of April to September are when ticks are most active, and as the weather becomes warmer it’s important to take precautionary steps to avoid an encounter. The best way to protect yourself is to minimize your chances of contact with the bugs. Products that include Permethrin can be applied to clothing and shoes and they kill ticks on contact. DEET is safer for topical application to skin, but it is not enough to ward off ticks and should be used along with permethrin products.
And just in case the worse case scenario does happen, you're going to need to be prepared with a strong game plan. So, don't panic, tick expert Glen Scoles, says to forget those folklore remedies of harming the tick as they only make the situation worse. We've found a (not so creepy) video tutorial that will help you stay calm while properly removing the bugger. Plus, checkout the three easy steps to follow, the perfect pair of tweezers, and our favorite repellents all below.
3 Easy Steps to Remove a Tick
1. Grab a pair of pointed tweezers to remove the tick. Fine tip tweezers are lease likely to squeeze pathogens into the site and should be held perpendicular to the bug, enabling you to firmly grasp the tick as close as possible to your skin.
2. Pull slowly and steadily straight up until the tick is removed from the skin. Remember not to use any type of twisting motion that could cause the tick to break off into the skin.
3. Lastly, swipe the skin with a cotton swab and monitor the area for at least 24 hours.