Did you know the tick exposure can occur year-round? Ticks seem to be more active during the warmer months of the year (i.e., April through September, according to the Center of Disease Control.
Prepare Before Going Outdoors
Where to expect ticks:
- Ticks live in grassy, bushy, or wooded areas, or even on animals; and
- Spending time performing outdoor tasks like working in areas mentioned above. Walking your pets, camping, gardening, or hunting could bring you in close contact with ticks.
Avoid Contact with Ticks
- Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter;
- Walk in the center of trails; and
- To find the repellent that is right for you, EPA has provided a search tool on its website. Please visit the following EPA website to learn more.
Ticks Are Hitchhikers
- Check for ticks after you have been outdoors;
- Remove any ticks that are found and wash hand and body area with soap and water;
- Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for at least 10 minutes to kill any tick not discovered; and
- If clothes items require washing, then hot water wash is recommended, cold or warm will not have much of an effect on ticks.
Check Gear and Pets
- Yes, gear and pets can also carry those unwanted visitors indoors; and
- Carefully inspect the details of all these items, including coats and packages.
Shower Soon after Being Outdoors
The CDC states that showering within two hours after coming indoors has been shown to reduce the risk of getting Lyme disease and may be effective in reducing the risk of other tickborne diseases. Showering also may help in washing off any unattached ticks and this shower time can present a very good opportunity to do a “Tick Check” everywhere.
Check Your Body
Conduct a full body “Tick Check” after returning from any potentially tick-infested area, including your backyard. Remember your mirrors (hand-held or full-length) are your friend. View all parts of your body. Check children thoroughly:
- Remember under the arms and folds of skin;
- Inside the navel (belly button);
- In hair, ears, and all around the neck area;
- Behind the knees and between the legs; and
- All around the waist area, above and below.
IT’S SERIOUS BUSINESS…TICKS DON’T FOOL AROUND!
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