You might think, “Well, there’s a pandemic going on; at least I can go outdoors and hike to get some air and feel better, plus a walk will be good for my health…” And then a tick bites you.
Yes, it’s tick season, and these foes are out there spreading other diseases that aren’t in the news, like Lyme Disease. So, here’s what you can do to prevent tick bites and things to look out to stay safe while outdoors or in rural areas.
Where are Ticks Found?
Generally, they aren’t found in cold climates or during cold seasons. Alaska is the only state in America that is tick-free, so if you’re in the Yukon, you should be good.
For the rest of us, though, the spring and summer are particularly bad times for ticks. If you live in a state like California or Florida where winter never really happens, ticks live year-round.
The tick that is responsible for Lyme Disease — the scariest of all tick diseases — is found in the eastern portion of the United States. But other types of ticks can transmit other diseases that can cause problems.
How to Prevent Tick Bites
Luckily it’s relatively simple to defend against tick-borne illness — just wear clothes that cover your arms and legs. Even if it’s hot out, and especially if you’re out hiking or in rural areas, consider covering up to prevent ticks from reaching your skin.
Take a shower after you hike or spend time in nature. This will help you locate ticks that are on you. Check your body for ticks post-hiking. You often can’t feel ticks feeding because some ticks can inject a small painkiller at the site of their bite (yes, we’re cringing too). And don’t forget to check for ticks on your pets if they were outdoors with you.
How to Treat Tick Bites
You have to remove the tick first. If it’s sucking on your blood already, it’s head will be dug into your skin — gross. Use tweezers to remove the tick. Do this steadily and slowly. Clean the area of the tick bite with soap and water or isopropyl alcohol.
The CDC doesn’t recommend treating yourself with antibiotics immediately. Still, certain antibiotics are prescribed in some situations per your doctor’s direction. Always ask a doctor for medical advice before using prescription drugs.