Ticks really are nasty little creatures; anything that sucks blood is not okay in my books – especially when they’re creepy, crawly bug-like things that are extremely resilient, difficult to spot, and difficult to remove. Apart from merely sucking your blood, ticks are also associated with some dangerous diseases, such as tick bite fever and Lyme disease, but now there’s another virus to worry about: Powassan virus, which is said to be even worse that Lyme disease.
Prevention is always better than cure, so it’s important that you take the necessary measures to totally avoid ticks, thus eliminating any chance of infection of this rare but possibly fatal virus. I don’t want to scare you into never going outdoors, though; just be careful and aware.
For more information on this Powassan virus, have a look at this video report from CBSNewYork
Everyone should read this!
- Avoid their Habitat
Ticks thrive in bushy, grassy and wooded areas with lots of grass and leaves. It’s best to avoid these types of areas as much as possible, or be prepared when entering.
- Enjoy the Sun
Ticks need moisture so they tend to congregate in humid environments (like leaf piles in the shade), so staying in the sun will definitely can reduce the likelihood of coming across one.
- Use Repellant
There are insecticides that can repel and kill ticks so that they never actually get close enough to bite you. Products containing permethrin are used on clothing (but isn’t effective when used on skin) – you can treat all your clothing, socks and shoes with this. Whether or not DEET works as a tick repellant on the skin is a debated topic. It couldn’t hurt to apply some before you go out to a woody area, but don’t rely on it as your only defense.
- Cover Yourself
If you’re going on a hike in tick territory, try to keep your exposed skin to an absolute minimum; for example, tuck your pants into your socks so that the little critters can’t climb up your leg.
- Wear Light Clothing
No, ticks aren’t adverse to the color white, but the lighter your clothing, the easier it’ll be to spot one on your pant or socks.
- Throw Your Clothes in the Dryer
Upon returning from an outdoor expedition, throw your clothes in the dryer on high heat for a few minutes. Since ticks need moisture, they can survive a wash, but won’t survive the dryer.
- Have a Shower
After tossing the clothes in the dryer, have a shower immediately so that you can inspect your body and catch and remove a tick that may have made it through your defenses.
- Inspect Your Gear and Pets
Also make sure to inspect any of the gear that you took along, and don’t forget about your beloved, loyal dog. You should inspect your furry friend on a regular basis since it’ harder to spot ticks through their thick fur.