It’s tick season here in New England and I’ve heard it’s going to be one of the worse ever It helps to know as much as we can about ticks if we are going to learn how to fight off those nasty little creatures. I wanted to share some interesting information about ticks as well as a DIY tick repellent.
Did you know?
- Ticks feed on mice while they are small. So removing mice from your home will get rid of the ticks too. Make sure you are working hard to keep the mice out of areas like your garage, shed or basement since they are carrying these baby ticks around on them.
- Ticks are arachnids and are smaller than a period on this page. They have eight legs like a spider but come in very different sizes. You want to make sure you can identify a tick should you find one on your clothing or your body.
- Ticks carry more than just Lyme’s Disease. They are also known for being carriers of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Colorado Tick Fever. They are carriers of numerous different diseases and bacteria but surprisingly not every tick carries a disease. It’s now being discovered that you have a 50:50 chance of being bit by a tick with Lyme’s Disease.
- Nymphs are baby ticks that usually can’t get any higher than your ankles. If you are planning to be out in the woods or thick grass, you want to wear white socks tucked into your pants. The light color will make them easier to spot and having the pants tucked into the socks will keep them on the outside of your clothing. Ticks are very sneaky and can crawl all over you once they get onto your clothing.
- Ticks don’t bite or latch on to you immediately. They look for thinner skin that they can penetrate such as behind your ears or on your scalp. Knowing this gives you time to scan your clothing and body if you’ve been outside in a wooded area.
- If you’ve been outside, you want to take a shower right away once you’ve come inside. Make sure you check and scrub everywhere! As I stated above, they like to crawl and look for thin skin to penetrate so keep an eye out for them after coming inside.
- Ticks like humid areas so if you keep your lawn manicured they will likely move to a dark, woodsy area. A great tip is edging your yard with a pine bark mulch or gravel to create a buffer between the lawn and wooded areas.
- If you have small dogs or cats that go outside, don’t let them sleep in your bed. The ticks can use the animal to transport them to your bed and use you as their host. One family that had small dogs that slept with everyone in the house all came down with Lyme’s Disease, probably from the dogs carrying in the infected ticks and bringing them into their beds.
- If you do get a tick that has bitten you, the best way to remove it is the old fashioned way of using tweezers and pulling it out. They reason why you don’t want to use the other techniques is because it gives the tick time to “spit” back into your blood stream and possibly spread more of a disease. Use tweezers and hold onto the body as close to the head as you can get and pull it out in the opposite direction as it went into your skin. Make very sure you don’t leave the head in your skin. Keep the body of the tick in a zip lock bag with the date of removal and take it to your doctor. They can send the tick off to test it to see if it’s contaminated. Your doctor may choose to start you on a round of antibiotics, just to be safe.
Make up a DIY Tick Repellent. You can download the recipe here.