‘Tis the season for ticks! Summer is in full swing and so are the numerous critters that make themselves known during the warm months. But, ticks are one of the only critters that can carry devastating illnesses such as tick fevers and lyme disease.
When spending time outdoors where ticks are prevalent, it’s important to take precautions to help keep them away from your skin.
“You should wear long sleeves and long pants that are tucked into your socks, that will keep the ticks from getting up under your clothing,” said Dr. Kendra Moorehead. “It’s also a good idea to wear light colors so that it’s easier to see any ticks that may be crawling on you.”
It’s also a wise idea to use tick or insect repellant that can be purchased at your local department store, or homemade repellants that are more safe for kids and pets. One of our favorite natural repellants is a combination of lemon, eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils diluted slightly with a carrier oil. Not only does it work great at keeping the pesky arachnids away, but we don’t smell like nasty chemicals.
After returning home from a day in the woods, or in some parts of the country…your own backyard, it’s important to check yourself thoroughly for ticks. Experts recommend starting at your feet and working your way up. Should you find a tick attached, removal is simple, but should be done properly.
According to Web MD, all you need to safely remove a tick is a pair of pointy tweezers and some rubbing alcohol.
Once you have your tools, here’s what to do:
1. Clean the area around the tick bite with rubbing alcohol.
2. Get your tweezers right down on your skin so you can grab as close as possible to the tick’s head.
3. Pull up slow and firm. Don’t jerk or twist; a nice, steady pressure straight up will do.
4. Clean the bite area again, and your hands, with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
Once the tick is removed, the big question is “How should I dispose of it?” Whatever you do, do not crush it between your fingers or fingernails as you can still contract disease from it, per Web MD. Instead, drown it in rubbing alcohol or soapy water, flush it down the toilet, or wrap it in tape and throw it away.
See Web MD demonstrate proper tick removal in the short video below.