T & T Tuesday ~ How to check for ticks?
Summertime is here which means that we are outdoors a lot more.
Well...with the increase in the tick sightings in Macomb County suburbs, I thought it was important to let our readers know what the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Protection) recommends for you to check for ticks after being outside. You may think that because you live in a subdivision, condo, or apartment, that you don't have to worry about ticks. I am here to tell you that everyone who spends time outdoors, in the grass, or any type of vegetation should know what to look for and what the signs are if you find a tick that has latched on to you. All of the information below has been taken right from the CDC website so that I did not miss any important information in transferring the information!
From the CDC Website:
"After You Come Indoors
Check your clothing for ticks. Ticks may be carried into the house on clothing. Any ticks that are found should be removed. Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors. If the clothes are damp, additional time may be needed. If the clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended. Cold and medium-temperature water will not kill ticks effectively.
Shower soon after being outdoors. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease. Showering may help wash off unattached ticks and it is a good opportunity to do a tick check.
Check your body for ticks after being outdoors. Conduct a full-body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas, which even includes your backyard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Check these parts of your body and your child’s body for ticks:
- Under the arms
- In and around the ears
- Inside belly button
- Back of the knees
- In and around the hair
- Between the legs
- Around the waist
What to Do if You Find an Attached Tick
Remove the attached tick as soon as you notice it by grasping with tweezers, as close to the skin as possible, and pulling it straight out. For detailed information about tick removal, see the tick removal page.
Watch for signs of illness such as rash or fever in the days and weeks following the bite, and see a health care provider if these develop. Your risk of acquiring a tick-borne illness depends on many factors, including where you live, what type of tick bit you, and how long the tick was attached. If you become ill after a tick bite, see a health care provider."
I can tell you from first-hand experience that ticks are no joke. I was working in my yard in Macomb a couple of weeks ago and found two ticks on me on two different occasions. It may be your first reaction, but make sure you don't just flick them off! If you have gotten it before it burrows, then you need to make sure that you kill it. If you do not kill it and just flick it off it is bound to get on some other person OR animal. Also, stepping on it won't work, they are pretty hard to kill. I don't want to make people fearful to go outside, rather, I want you to be aware that they are all over the place and not just in the "country" or "woods" like many people think! Please take the time to check your pets as well! In their ears and between the pads on their paws. For additional information regarding ticks, how to prevent them, and how to maintain your yard to deter them, please visit the CDC website.