Helpful tips for ticks

PINE BELT (WDAM) - Some recent headlines suggests that this is turning out to be a particularly bad year for ticks. Wet weather followed by warm days of sunshine create ideal breeding grounds for ticks.

The Center for Disease Control advises people to avoid wooded brushy areas with high grass and a lot of leaves. They also suggest using repellent not only on your skin but also your clothes. Use
repellent that contains 20 percent or more DEET, picaridin or IR3535 on exposed skin for protection that lasts for several hours.

Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you. Conduct a full-body tick check using a full length mirror to view all your body after returning from a tick-infested area.

Parents should also be sure to check their kids after they come in from being outside. Check areas under the arm, around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist and especially in their hair.

Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets carefully.

Another good way of ensuring that ticks are off the clothing is to tumble dry in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing.

If you find a tick attached to you skin, there's no need to panic. There are several tick removal devices on the market, but a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers will remove a tick quite effectively.
Grab the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull upward with a steady even pressure. Don't twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin.

After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.

Dispose of a live tick by submersing it in alcohol, place it in a sealed bag or container or by flushing it down the toilet. Never crush a tick with your fingers.

If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, see your doctor and be sure to tell him about your recent tick bite.

When dealing with ticks the adage; "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", couldn't be more true.