Mosquitoes truly are summer’s biggest annoyance, because not only they emit sound, that will irritate even a person with the strongest of nerves, but they also bite and cause physical damage to our bodies. However, there are another pests, that you should look out for as carefully as you do for mosquitoes in the summer, and these pests are ticks, because they, too, carry many diseases, that might even be life threatening to us, if not treated properly.
Ticks are very small,parasitic pests, that live on the blood of humans, mammals, birds and even reptiles. And although ticks do have a quite important ecological role, since they serve as natural selection for animals, they still are dangerous vectors, that can carry diseases like Lyme disease, Encephalitis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Colorado tick fever, Babesiosis, Tularemia and others.
So how to avoid tick bites and how to make sure that you are not infected by one of the several diseases these pest carry?
To do that one of the first thing you need to remember is that you need to use repellent. Repellent is a common thing to use against mosquitoes, but many of the same bug sprays are also efficient against ticks. Especially those repellents that contain at least 20% DEED will keep ticks away from you and won’t give them chance to bite you. But if you know that you will be frequenting places this summer, where there might be ticks, then you should also treat you clothing with a repellent that contains at least 0.5% Permethrin. This insect repelling substance is specially designed to be long lasting and very efficient, because it will stay on your clothing for weeks and even withstand washing a couple of times, just so you could be safe from ticks.
Ticks like to reside on trees, bushes and on higher grass, which means that when you are walking in the woods, through a field or just around your garden, you should avoid wooded areas, bushes and taller grass. If it is possible I would recommend you walking in the center of any trail or pathway you are taking, because this way there will be less of a chance that a tick will stick (I know it rimed!) to your clothing on skin. And since tics cannot survive in warm and dray places for long, they tend to hide in shady and humid areas. So avoid them as much as possible and stay in the sun, if you want to lower your chance of getting a tick bite.
Speaking about clothing, not only you should threat you clothing with repellents, but also choose long clothing in as light of colors as possible. Long clothing will ensure that the ticks don’t have good access to your skin, so even if they manage to get on your clothing, you can prevent them biting you. Also choose clothing with form fitting ends, for example pants and long shirt with elastic bad around the ends of the pants and shirt, since this too, will make it harder for ticks to reach your skin. As for light colored clothing, you should go for lighter clothing simply because you will be able to better spot the ticks on this type of clothing and remove them quickly before they have the chance to do any damage, since ticks mainly have dark bodies.
On top of that make sure you shower after coming indoors, so you can remove all ticks before they have the chance to bite you. And also you should wash your clothing on high heat or at least tumble dry them for 10 minutes, because this will kill all ticks that might have attached themselves on you clothing, preventing them from wandering into your home.
And lastly do tick checks regularly, even if you have just walked around your backyard or worked in your garden. Studies actually show that one of the most common places where people catch tick-borne diseases are around their homes. So keep this in mind and know to check yourself and your kids and pets, so that you can remove ticks early on, without giving them chance to damage your health or the health of those close to you.