Preventing Ticks and What to Do If Bitten By One
One of the easiest ways of avoiding ticks is to not go in areas where they like to hide. This means staying out of the woods and high fields of grass. For those living in heavily wooded areas, even avoiding these places may not prevent them from riding in on deer and other critters such as free-ranging dogs. Keeping the grass mowed and pets treated will go a long way toward prevention of ticks arriving in your home.
If you do have outdoor pets or a large number of free-ranging animals in the area, it will be almost inevitable that ticks will come a-calling. Paying attention to your body and looking for ticks while in the woods and when you get home from the woods or fields will help prevent them from biting you. If you can catch them before they bite you, they are easy to remove. If no one has been bitten, a handy pet goldfish will be glad to dispose of that tick by devouring it. Do not rinse them down the sink or flush them away. They are very hard to drown and may just find their way back into your home.
Be sure to check yourself frequently if you are in areas where there are ticks. Once you are home check your clothing, hair, and skin to be sure you do not have any ticks on you. One of the best preventive maintenance things you can do is to purchase free-range chickens or guineas. Both of these birds will eat ticks and can be maintained at a relatively low cost. If this option is not available to you or you do not want the burden of taking care of the birds, there are many pesticides designed to treat outdoor areas for ticks.
If the tick has attached themselves to you or someone else, do not try to burn them off. This will hurt you and not really solve the problem. Also do not coat the tick with anything. Alcohol, nail polish, and even gasoline are not going to help the situation. To remove the tick get a pair of fine tipped tweezers and grasp the tick as close to the person’s skin as you can. Do not put too much pressure on the tick. Also pull straight up on the tick. Pulling too hard or twisting while pulling could result in the tick tearing apart. If this happens you could get an infection from the remnants of the tick left inside the skin. Once the tick is removed, place the tick in an airtight jar, such as a baby food jar, and seal it in. If you get flu symptoms after the bite, then get the tick tested for diseases such as Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain fever. While ticks with these diseases are rare, it is better to be safe. After a few days with no symptoms the tick should be dead and you can dispose of it.