Preventing tick bites
Tick exposure can occur year-round, but ticks are most active during warmer months (April-September). Know which ticks are most common in your area.
Before You Go Outdoors
Avoid Contact with Ticks
After You Come Indoors
Check your clothing for ticks. Ticks may be carried into the house on clothing. Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors. If the clothes are damp, additional time may be needed. If the clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended. Cold and medium temperature water will not kill ticks.
Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets, coats, and daypacks.
Shower soon after being outdoors. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease and may be effective in reducing the risk of other tickborne diseases. Showering may help wash off unattached ticks and it is a good opportunity to do a tick check.
Check your body for ticks after being outdoors. Conduct a full body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas, including your own backyard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Check these parts of your body and your child’s body for ticks:
Create a Tick-safe Zone to Reduce Blacklegged Ticks in the Yard
Here are some simple landscaping techniques that can help reduce blacklegged tick populations:
If you find a tick attached to your skin, there’s no need to panic—the key is to remove the tick as soon as possible. There are several tick removal devices on the market, but a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers work very well.
How to remove a tick
***Avoid folklore remedies such as “painting” the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly, or using heat to make the tick detach from the skin. Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible–not waiting for it to detach.
The most common symptoms of tick-related illnesses are:
Tickborne diseases can result in mild symptoms treatable at home to severe infections requiring hospitalization. Although easily treated with antibiotics, these diseases can be difficult to diagnose. However, early recognition and treatment of the infection decreases the risk of serious complications. So, see your Health Care Provider immediately if you have been bitten by a tick and experience any of the symptoms described here.
Beth Ewing, RN, MSN, CNM, WHNP-BC Source: https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/index.html
Beth Ewing, RN, MSN, CNM, WHNP-BC serves as the Parish Nurse for both Abiding Christ and the Lutheran Saints in Ministry.