Tick season in New Jersey is upon us. A moist spring following a wet winter results in dense vegetation in places where ticks can thrive: fields, woods, and backyards.
Ticks start emerging in May, June and July, exposing people to potential tick borne diseases. Advantage Career Institute Medical & Dental School has some tips to help get you through tick season.
Know Where Ticks Like to Hang Out
It is important to avoid being in potential tick habitats whenever possible. For example, if you’re out hiking, try to remain on the trails. Avoid dense vegetation, such as the shrubs and bushes, where ticks could be hiding.
Lawns should be mowed short to make them less attractive to ticks and animals that can transport them.
Cover Up and Spray
When you’re outside, keep your skin covered as much as possible: for example, wearing long sleeves and tucking long pants into your socks. Wearing light-colored clothing also makes it easier to spot ticks on your body.
It is also important to use insect repellents containing DEET for your skin, and permethrin for your clothing and gear.
Check Your Pets
You should treat your pets for ticks to avoid having them carry ticks inside your home. It is important to regularly check your pets for ticks, especially if they have been outdoors for long periods of time.
Safely Removing Ticks
When you come indoors after being outside, be sure to check yourself for ticks, taking special care to check areas ticks are known to hide, such as the scalp, armpits, groin, and behind your ears.
If you do find a tick, here are some steps to safely remove them:
- Using fine-tip tweezers, grab the tick as close to the skin as possible.
- Gently pull straight up. Take care not to jerk or twist the tick, as the tick’s mouthpiece can break off and remain in your skin.
- Clean the skin with soap and warm water and safely dispose of the tick.