A tick bite can be prevented by taking precautionary measures. Ticks live in humid and moist environments, they thrive in leaf litter and near shrubs. The best advice is to remain on the beaten path, however, sometimes you want to enjoy the outdoors, such as wooded or grassy areas.
There’s the expressions “ticks come from below”. Knowing this, you realise it’s crucial to stop the tick at it’s entry point, from the feet upwards. Sock treated with Durallin® (a kind of Permethrin) is your best choice to kill or repell the tick when it tries to claw on to your feet. Though it’s really bad for ticks, it doesn’t harm adults and children.
Gardeners and ticks are best friends. Golfers, hikers and basically anyone who visits a park or plays football outside can become a victim of the tick. Repellents, such as DEET, keep ticks at bay. Use DEET on your skin and cover as much of your body. There’s no point in spraying DEET on clothes. DEET comes in several percetages, the higher the percentage the longer it protects, though any percentage above 50% doesn’t protect any better than 50% itself. 30% protects up to 3 hours, 40%: 4 hours and DEET 50%: 5 hours.
There are a couple of downsides to DEET. It’s damages plastics and leather (watches, camera’s and sunglasses), leaves marks on your clothing and isn’t very suitable for the sensitive skin (though there’s DEET sensitive, it’s all in the name). The alternative is Care Plus Anti-Insect Natural, which contains Citriodiol® (lemon-eucalyptus extracts) and offers up to a stunning 6 hours of protection!
The tick is quicker than you think. Even with sox and repellents, you may still be bitten. It can crawl on your clothing, locate your skin (neck, armpits, groin and hairline) and start digging into your skin. Always check your kids! A tick is incredibly small, not any larger than the top of a pin! Acquire the habit of checking yourself for potential tick bites during tick season, from March to August. Pick a fixed moment, for example whilst brushing your teeth.
A tick should be removed as quickly as possible, preferably within 24 hours. The risk that the tick has succesfully digged into your skin is relatively small, similar to the risk of contamination.
Make sure you always have a tick remover on you, so you can remove one as quickly as possible. The earlier you remove it, the less chance you have of Lyme disease. Never try to remove the tick by hand, nails, fire or alcohol .
Check your pets
Also pets are a regular victim of the tick. Although a tick bite is less dangerous for dogs or cats, a tick could use your pet as a vessel to get inside your home, where it’ll be looking for another host to feed on. Happily, similar to flea control, there are various pesticides which don’t harm your pet, whilst it reduces the risk of a tick bite!