With summer here, tick infestations are going to be in full swing. Some shocking studies have been published about the rising disease rates transmitted by ticks.
It is important to inform yourself and be on the lookout for ticks this summer. Don’t worry though, I have you covered with some information about ticks and their diseases.
Rise of Tick-Borne Diseases
According to data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tickborne diseases are rising. Types of diseases that are rising include; Anaplasmosis/Ehrlichiosis, Lyme Disease, Spotted Fever Rickettsiosis, Babesiosis, Powassan Virus Disease, and Tularemia. These diseases increased from 48,000 to almost 60,000 in just one year. Keep in mind that many people do not report any of these diseases because they are common. So, in reality, these numbers are significantly higher.
Reason for Rising Statistics
With a record number of diseases occurring each year, it is still unclear as to why this is happening. There are a few factors that always affect ticks which includes temperature, humidity, rainfall, and even the host populations. Hosts could include mice or other animals that ticks feed on.
Depending on where you are located, the tick density will vary. Some people do not notice a difference in tick population because they are not outdoors a lot and neither are their pets. Some people who are avid adventurists will notice a difference because they spend a lot of time outdoors. Plus, these disease cases are also affected by the doctor. Certain providers are more likely to test for these diseases than others.
Now that we have taken a look at what diseases are on the rise and why we can now look at how to prevent you from developing this disease. It is important to take every precautionary measure to protect yourself while being outdoors with tick-borne diseases on the rise.
Preventing Tick Bites
Ticks can be around the whole year but are most active during the warmer Spring/Summer months. This is generally the months of April until September. It is also important to know what type of tick is the most common in your particular area.
Before Going Outdoors
* Know Where to Expect Ticks:
* Avoid areas with tall grass or leaf covered areas.
* Walk in the middle of a path.
* Treat Clothing and Gear:
* Use Insect Repellents
* It is important not to use this product on babies that are under two months old.
* Products that will contain OLE or PMD should not be used on children that are three or younger.
* Check Clothing:
* Gear and Pets
* Check Your Body
* Ears- In and Around
* Inner Belly Button
* Hair- In and Around
* Between Legs
* Back of the Knees
* Around the Waist
Ticks are known to be in certain areas more than others. With this being said, you should expect ticks to be in long grass or bushy areas. Also common are wooded areas and on animals. Any time that you spend outside such as camping or walking your dog will expose you to ticks. In fact, ticks are often picked up in a person’s yard or in their neighborhood.
It is important that before you go outdoors, that clothing and gear is treated with a product that is going to contain .5% permethrin. This can treat boots, camping gear, and clothing. It also can last up to seven washes. You can also opt out for some already treated clothing and gear from the store.
It is important that you are using Environmental Protection Agency or EPA insect repellant. These are going to contain DEET and many other helpful protectant chemicals.
There are also measures that you can take when you enter your home after being outdoors to ensure that there are no ticks on you and following you in.
Ticks are generally carried in the home by being attached to clothing. When inspecting clothes any found ticks should be removed. You should throw your clothing in the dryer for ten minutes on the highest heat possible to kill any ticks.
It is important to check any gear that was outdoors as well as checking your pets' skin. These ticks will eventually find their way to a human host.
It is important that you shower within two hours of entering the home. This helps reduce a person’s risk of Lyme Disease. Plus, it will help reduce the risk of contracting other diseases from the tick.
A full body check should be conducted when you are returning from a tick-infested area. This will include your own backyard if the grass is long or there are leaf covered areas. To do this you will need a mirror. Check the following places because ticks are likely to hide in these areas:
So that’s some information I felt like you needed to know given the rising rates of these diseases from ticks. Stay safe out there this summer.