Each year, there are at least 30,000 new cases of the illness spread due to bit by tick in the United States.
Most people are familiar with the concept of common bugs like mosquito bites and poison ivy. They easily identify the symptoms, know what to do if they get them, and have the necessary precautions to avoid getting them in the first place.
While the word “ticks” often comes up in conversation in a lighthearted fashion, the reality of ticks is anything but. You may be familiar with the red bump a tick leaves behind but less familiar with the lasting effects of leaves behind
If you suspect you’ve been bitten by a tick, you probably have a slew of questions. Read on, and we’ll cover some of the top ones.
Remove the Tick Safely
If you’ve been bit by a tick, the first step is to remove it safely and promptly. Using a pair of tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Gently pull the tick straight out without jerking or twisting.
Do not attempt to burn the tick, pull it with your fingers, or squeeze the tick’s body, as these methods may cause the tick to release saliva and/or body fluids into the skin. Keep an eye on the area of the bite. Check it for any signs of redness, swelling, or a rash
Clean the Bite Area
Clean the area with hydrogen peroxide or soap and water to decrease the chance of spreading any bacteria. Inspect the amount of time the tick was embedded. The longer the exposure, the greater the chance of disease. Seek medical attention if the area begins to itch, bleed, or become painful.
Make sure to clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol and warm soapy water. A warm compress could also help to reduce inflammation and help with any pain. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications can also help with symptom relief.
Identify the Type of Tick
Identifying the type of tick is very important if you’re bitten by one. Different types of ticks carry different diseases, so being able to identify which tick you’ve been bit by is crucial. The most common types of ticks are Deer ticks, Wood ticks, and Dog ticks.
Deer ticks, also called black-legged ticks, are commonly found in most areas of the United States. They are small, dark-colored, and typically feed on deer, but are known to feed on humans as well.
Wood ticks are larger than deer ticks. These are in areas with high humidity or moist conditions and are commonly found in humans and other animals but are not known to spread diseases.
Dog ticks, or brown dog ticks, are slightly larger than their relatives and like to hide in areas of tall grass and shrubs. These ticks feed on dogs and humans and can also cause diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.
Monitor for Symptoms
It is important to keep an eye out for potential symptoms if you think you’ve been bit by a tick. Although it’s hard to know if a tick has bitten you, the best thing to do is be aware of the signs and symptoms. These can include fever, headaches, muscle aches, nausea, fatigue, and a skin rash.
Some of the symptoms from a tick bite appear between 3 and 30 days after a tick bite. If you start to notice any of these, you must contact a physician or medical professional as soon as possible. Keeping a close watch on any symptoms that may follow a tick bite is crucial to prevent any potential health issues.
Consider Tick Control Services
Consider services to assist in reducing the risk of any potential diseases. A professional can come to your property and spray to reduce the tick population. This may help to reduce the number of ticks that can bite you.
Additionally, it is the responsibility of tick control services to identify the species of the tick that bit you and take appropriate action to prevent other ticks from infesting the same area. They can help protect you and your family from the range of diseases that their bites can transmit.
Wear Protective Clothing
Take appropriate action to protect yourself and reduce the risk of future tick bites. Wear protective clothing, such as long pants, long sleeves, and tall boots, when spending time outdoors in areas with a high population of ticks.
When weather permits, wear light-colored clothing so it’s easier to spot ticks. This will also help you remove them quickly.
Additionally, wear hats to protect your scalp, and use insect repellent. After you come indoors, take off your clothing and inspect it for ticks. Following these steps will help reduce your risk of infection.
Check for Ticks Regularly
To prevent getting bit by a tick, it is recommended to check for ticks regularly. If you live in a place where there may be ticks, it is important to perform regular checks of your body to spot any ticks before they have a chance to bite.
Pay close attention to places like behind your ears, the back of your neck, inside of the elbows, and between your legs.
Avoid Tick Habitat
It is important to stay out of the tick’s habitat whenever possible. This means avoiding wooded and brushy areas, especially those with a lot of vegetation and a moist environment.
If you are done with the activity, it is important to leave the place immediately.
Know What to Do When Bit by Tick
In conclusion, when bit by tick, be sure to contact a healthcare professional for further advice. Be aware of any potential symptoms and keep an eye on the area of the bite.
Take precautions and pay attention to ensure that you are safe. Remember that prevention and knowledge are key to preventing tick-related illnesses. Reach out to a medical professional today if you’re concerned about a tick bite!
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