Ticks Safety Talk
Ticks are small arachnids that bite to fasten themselves onto the skin and feed on blood. Ticks live in the fur and feathers of many birds and animals. There are many kinds of ticks in the United States and they can be found in virtually any area of the country. Tick bites occur most often during early spring to late summer and in areas where there are many wild animals and birds. It is important to avoid areas where ticks are found and prevent tick bites to avoid contracting the diseases they carry.
Tick Related Diseases
- Lyme disease
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- Relapsing fever
- Colorado tick fever
Most of these diseases come with flu-like symptoms after getting bit. Symptoms may begin from 1 day to 3 weeks after the tick bite. Sometimes a rash or sore appears along with the flu-like symptoms. If you are bit by a tick or display these symptoms after being in an area where ticks are found, go to the doctor. Early diagnosis and antibiotics can result in a full recovery from these diseases.
Tick Bite Prevention
Avoid areas where there is a lot of vegetation or animals that can carry ticks. If you have to be in these areas wear clothes and gloves that cover as much skin as possible. Use bug repellant that protects against ticks. Check for ticks periodically on your clothes and on your skin. Do a complete check of your body before showering. Ticks like to bury themselves in the skin on warmer areas of the body.
If You Find a Tick on You
It is important to remove the tick as quickly as possible. Removing the tick quickly can prevent the spread of disease if the tick is infected. Use fine-tip tweezers to remove the tick. Make sure the head of the tick is removed with the body. Save the tick in a zip lock bag or container in case it needs to be identified later on if disease occurs.
Wash the area with soap and water after the tick is removed as well as your hands. Apply antibiotic ointment to the area if the bite becomes irritated.
While many ticks do not carry disease, some do. Avoiding the areas where ticks are present is the best way to eliminate the chance of getting bit. It is important to protect yourself and prevent tick bites.