It’s that time of year again where ticks start to come out in full force. We’re happy that spring is FINALLY here, but the sudden onset of bites and buzzing is still a drag. We’ve been hearing for a month or so now that THIS is they year they’re going to be really, really bad.
There are some staggering statistics out there, and none of us wants to be part of those numbers, but what do we have to know to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe from tick-borne diseases?
First, let’s look at some numbers.
The majority of tick-borne illness cases come from 14 states, one of which is our home state of Massachusetts. 87,000 people EACH YEAR are diagnosed with Lyme Disease here in the Bay State. Yuck.
While both ticks and mosquitoes can irritate us and make us sick, the number of tick-related cases are much higher.
So how do we guard against these pests?
Prevention and persistence are key.
When you’re going hiking or working outside, especially in long grass, wear long pants, and tuck them into your socks. Not a great fashion statement unless you’re reliving the 80s, but effective for keeping ticks off your ankles and out of your pants. Long sleeve shirts are also important as these pests like to drop from trees, too.
Use some sort of repellent.
At Bare Ground, we believe in effective, more natural and environmentally friendly options to keep ticks, and tick carrying animals, away from your home and your garden. Predator Urines and garlic are just two methods, but really, just protect yourself.
Repellents can be applied, or even come built into clothing geared for the outdoors. Choose what’s best for you and whatever it is that you’re enjoying outside.
There are products that you can use around your home and in your garden to keep ticks, and tick carrying animals, away. Say that we prefer a less chemical, more natural approach like garlic to repel ticks or predator scents to keep tick carrying animals away.
After you’ve been outside, always do a tick check. In fact, do one daily, especially on children. Check in places where they can hide – neck, hairline, groin, knees and elbows, and places where your clothes are tight.
And shower after being outdoors. If you shower soon enough after exposure, ticks will wash right off before they really latch on to you. Feel your skin for any bumps that don’t belong. These guys are tiny, so sometimes your eyes will miss them!
What IF you miss one?
It happens. They’re really small and they hide.
Know what to look for: fever, chills, headache, muscle aches. These 4 happen with all tick-borne illnesses. Sometimes these are also accompanied by a rash.
Whatever you do, stay vigilant this season. The ticks are here, but if you are armed with all you need to know, they won’t have any impact on your summer fun!