Tick Awareness Week is May 10-16. With Californians eager to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors, it’s important to remember that ticks can put a damper on your activities.
Campers, hikers, trail bikers, backyard gardeners, and picnickers should take protective measures to limit contact with ticks. No one wants to become one of the more than 475,000 persons who are diagnosed with Lyme disease annually in the United States.
Don’t tick me off
Tick populations typically surge during the warmer summer months. It’s important to educate yourself on the dangers associated with ticks and identify steps to ensure your property, family, and pets are protected from tick-related health threats.
Ticks live in tall grass and wooded areas. They don’t jump or fly. Instead, they crawl up low brush or grass to find a passing human or animal host. Anyone spending time outdoors should be committed to protecting themselves against these pests. Because, although ticks are small, the diseases they can pass on from a bite are quite dangerous.
How can you tell if you’ve been bitten by a tick and are at risk for contracting Lyme disease? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the appearance of a “bullseye” rash is often the first sign, occurring in about 70-90 percent of cases.
Tick prevention tips
Clark, your neighborly termite, grounds care, and pest management expert, offers the following prevention tips to avoid the health threats associated with ticks:
- Landscape your yard: Keep grass cut low, and remove weeds, woodpiles, and debris. Ticks are found in high grass and in yards with shrubbery.
- Protect your skin: Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and closed-toe shoes when outdoors, especially in wooded areas or tall grasses. Choose light=colored clothing that makes it easier to spot ticks and other insects.
- Use an effective insect repellent: Always apply an insect repellent containing at least 20 percent DEET to protect against ticks when spending time outdoors, and reapply as directed on the label.
- Regularly check for ticks: Most ticks require 24-48 hours of feeding before they can transmit infections successfully, so it’s crucial to perform a thorough tick check immediately after spending time outdoors. Be sure to check all areas of the body, including the hair.
- Don’t forget about pets: Check pets frequently for ticks, especially after the animal has been outside. Consult with a veterinarian about prevention and treatment options available to pets and wash pet bedding and toys frequently.
- Brush up on proper removal techniques: Use fine-tipped tweezers to remove a tick, using a slow, steady pulling motion. Wash hands and the bite site thoroughly with soap and water. Flush the tick down a toilet, or wrap it in tissue, before disposing in a closed receptacle.
Clark Pest Control is committed to safeguarding your home from pests during these challenging times. Our service technicians use such personal protective equipment as gloves, masks, and respirators, they practice social distancing, they call ahead to notify before a service, and they adhere strictly to all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when servicing inside or outside your home.
If you have questions about ticks or Lyme disease – May is National Lyme Disease Awareness Month – call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or email us at email@example.com.
Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home.