With the weather getting nicer in Wisconsin, everyone is anxious to get outside. But, getting outside and being active can come with some little nuisances: ticks! These blood-sucking spiders invade your skin and make a meal of your blood but they can also leave a “gift” of Lyme Disease.
Before going out, take precautions. Wear long sleeves and long pants. Try to tuck pant legs into socks to prevent bites. The CDC recommends 20-30% DEET on any exposed skin and treat clothes with 0.5% permethrin to repel bugs. It is important to shower as soon as you get home from an adventure (within 2 hrs) to wash off and more easily inspect your body for biting ticks. It’s important to check armpits, behind the knees, between the legs, belly-buttons, scalp and around the waist. You also want to check anything you brought home, such as gear, clothing and your pets! It’s a good idea to tumble your clothes in the dryer, on high heat, for an hour to kill any lingering pests.
If you do find a biting tick, it is important to remove it right away. When you remove a tick, only fully intact ticks can be tested in a lab. In addition to Lyme, ticks can also carry anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and Borrelia Miyamotoi. Testing the tick is the only way to pinpoint a person’s infection.
We found an awesome product to remove ticks! The Coghlan’s Tick Remover keeps the tick intact and is simple to use. The first time I used the product, I was nervous, I had removed ticks with their heads detached using the tweezer method. I had also attempted the match method but that is frowned upon for deer ticks and you risk burning the person. With a simple grip and twist, the tick came right out. In this case, I did not choose to test it, so I walked the pinched tick to the toilet, dropped it in and flushed. Goodbye tick!