You may be spending plenty of time this summer season soaking up the sun and enjoying nature, but are you protecting yourself from ticks?
Ticks are tiny, blood-sucking bugs that live in trees, bushes, and grasses. There are different kinds of ticks ranging in shades of brown to reddish-brown to black. As they bite and feed on someone’s blood, they become bigger and change to a green or blue color. These small bugs sound frightening and with good reason, which is why you need to be aware of why they can be dangerous and how to protect yourself.
Why Be Concerned Over Ticks?
These tiny ticks already sound frightening, knowing they feed off your blood, but they can also make you sick. Ticks carry and transfer various tick-borne illnesses that can cause a variety of symptoms that can develop within several days to a few weeks after the initial bite. It’s crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible if a tick bites you to avoid any serious or life-threatening issues and get treatment.
How To Prevent Tick Bites
Preventing tick bites is the best and most certain way to prevent tick-borne illnesses. Here are the best ways to ensure you don’t get bitten by a tick.
- Wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants whenever walking in grassy areas or the woods where ticks are most commonly found.
- When hiking, stay on the designated trails.
- Use an effective tick repellent that is at least 20% DEET.
- Take a shower within two hours of being outdoors.
- After being outdoors, check your skin and clothes from head to toe very closely for any ticks. Ask for help from someone else to be sure you are clear.
It typically takes at least 24 hours after a tick bites you and starts feeding for the tick to transfer any diseases, so the sooner the tick is found and removed, the better.
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