Unfortunately, not all of nature is beautiful. At least in how they relate to humans, ticks are pests. When you’re outdoors, the sun and the scenery aren’t all you’re surrounded by. You may also be around ticks, which could get on your clothes or even your body.
That’s bad enough on its own. Add in the fact these arachnids can spread illnesses like Lyme disease and makes it critical to avoid them.
Here are some tips to help you stay safe and tick free.
When you’re venturing outdoors, even for a short period of time, you run the risk of encountering ticks. Try these steps to help yourself stay safe and minimize the chance you’ll attract the bite of one of these pests.
1. Choose Areas That Don’t Have Ticks
This one is pretty simple, but it’s only applicable to certain locations. If you’re going to a park, hiking trail, or other space that’s maintained, see what the reviews say about ticks.
If there are no reviews that complain about these annoying arachnids, it means they’re either not native to the area, or the maintenance crew prepares for them. If you have the option to do it, you should spend time in the areas with less of a tick presence.
If you consistently encounter ticks in a certain area, either avoid the location or try the other tips to protect yourself.
2. Wear Long Sleeves
There’s no way to ensure a tick won’t latch itself on to any exposed skin it sees. However, you can reduce the target area by covering yourself up when you’re outdoors.
Though the weather may make it a little tough, consider wearing long sleeves. Even if you’re warm during your outdoor activities, you’ll at least cover your arms. The lower arms are often exposed to ticks in ways we don’t realize.
Brushing low-hanging branches aside, holding the banister at park steps near brushes, and other simple activities can be an opportunity for ticks to jump on you. If they do, you can make sure there’s a shirt between them and you.
3. Get Bug Spray
Bug spray isn’t just for the gnats and mosquitos that bother you while you’re outside. Some bug sprays are also engineered specifically to repel ticks.
Even if you’ve never had a tick problem, you may want to find a spray that repels them anyway. A small can of bug spray fits perfectly in a glove box, backpack, purse, sports bag, or even pocket. This small preventive element can work wonders when you’re in a tick-heavy area.
Looking for a more natural tick repellent?
Try the following:
- 2-undecanone: This comes from the leaves and stems of wild tomato plants, and is great for repelling ticks. Use a bit on your clothing, gear, or even your skin to get the protection you need.
- Garlic oil: The garlic plant isn’t just great for foods, it’s also great for the oil it has which repels ticks. This ingredient is more effective on lawns and gardens than it is on people and their personal belongings. If your yard has a big tick problem, sprinkle some garlic oil around.
- Mixed essential oils: You have a variety of options here, including rosemary, lemongrass, thyme, peppermint, and more. These oils can be used on either your lawn or your skin, making them very versatile.
4. Shower or Bathe as Soon as You Can
When you come in after a long day outdoors, you may have a lot of things in mind. Should you check your phone, drink some water, or grab a snack? All those sound good – but they should all be done after you’ve cleaned up.
If you do get a tick on you, bathing or showering when you get back is a great way to help ensure the creature’s grip on you can be loosened. It’s also good because you sanitize the point where the pest did make contact, further helping you reduce the chance of diseases.
The warmer the water, the higher the chance you’ll get rid of any ticks. Showering and bathing won’t always kill ticks attached to you, however, so check yourself after.
5. See a Doctor If You Have a Tick
The presence of a tick on your skin can be alarming. Some people will automatically try to remove it themselves, either by plucking it away or applying some type of solution to the affected area.
However, it’s always safer to visit a doctor. Not only can they remove it in a way that doesn’t cause additional damage, but they can also check to make sure the tick didn’t transfer any dangerous conditions like Lyme disease while attached.
Avoid Ticks & Stay Healthy
Being outdoors is a fun experience, and it’s good for you. Ticks aren’t, though, so knowing how to repel them is important. When you keep ticks away, your chance for conditions like Lyme disease is greatly reduced.
Higgins Insurance encourages you to seek professional medical help if you believe you have been exposed to ticks or are experiencing symptoms of Lyme Disease.
For your personal insurance needs, reach out to Higgins Insurance to learn how we can help you with all of your Recreational, Automobile and Home insurance requirements.