Gulf Coast Exterminators are known to fight battles against the worst pests. What we want you to know is that there are some pests that are more dangerous than others. Ticks are one of those dangerous pests. What gives them that classification is that these insects can infect humans and animals with bacteria, viruses, parasites and other diseases. We want to inform you which areas to avoid ticks, how to minimize exposure to them, and other tick related information. In any event we always recommend you call tick removal experts here at Gulf Coast Exterminators.
WHERE DO TICKS LIVE?
Ticks dwell in areas which are wooded & bushy with high grass and leaves. Ticks climb grass and shrubs in order to come in contact with an animal or human walking by to feed on their blood. Ticks tend to be prevalent in the summer months as they prefer warmer weather.
HOW TO AVOID TICKS
There are many ways to avoid ticks, below is a list of ways to avoid and prevent ticks:
- Wear light-colored clothing to help make spotting ticks easier if they land on you.
- Cover up as much as possible to reduce any skin exposure. Tuck pants into socks to create a physical barrier against the ticks.
- Use insect repellent with permethrin, a stronger chemical that kills ticks as well as repels them. Products with permethrin should be sprayed on clothes and not directly on to the skin. Permethrin-treated clothing such as socks and shoes are available to purchase from retailers. Parents if you apply it to children, should avoid hands, eyes and mouth.
- When going on a hiking trail or any nature trail, stay in the middle of the path. Ticks can’t jump or fly, so they can only get on you if you come in contact with their ideal environment: moist, shady, wooded areas with leaves, low-lying plants and shrubs.
- Search for sunny areas as ticks can’t survive in environments with lower than 80 percent humidity for more than eight hours.
- After you come home inspect yourself, children, family members and pets. When doing so focus on the legs and groin areas as ticks normally attach at the lower legs and then climb upward. Parents should check their children for ticks under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist and especially in their hair. Take a bath or shower to wash off and remove any ticks that may on you. Put clothes in the dryer on high heat for about an hour to kill remaining ticks.
TICK REMOVAL: DON’T BELIEVE THE MYTHS
Everyone has an opinion when it comes to removing ticks. But more than likely, they are just myths rather than effective treatments.
Some myths include:
- Using petroleum jelly
- Using fire to make the tick detach from your skin
- Freezing the tick off to make the tick detach from the skin on its own
These techniques can sometimes have the opposite effect. One opposite effect is forcing the tick to bury deeper into the skin and even possibly deposit more of its disease-carrying secretions.
HOW TO REMOVE A TICK CORRECTLY
Tick bites are normally painless at first and most people are not aware they have been bitten. If you do find a tick attached to your skin, there’s no need to panic. There are several tick removal devices on the market, but a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers will remove a tick quite effectively.
- Use clean fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close as possible to the skin’s surface. If you don’t have tweezers, make sure to put on gloves and use your fingers. Never handle the tick with bare hands
- Gently pull upward and straight out with steady, even pressure. Try not to grab the tick around its swollen belly or it could push infected fluid from the tick into your body. Don’t twist or jerk the tick or the mouth-parts may break off and remain in the skin. If this does happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth, leave it alone and let the skin heal
- Cleaning the affected area. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the area with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub or a mild soap with warm water. Don’t forget to wash your hands too
- Discarding the tick. You can discard ticks in various ways. You can submerse the live tick in alcohol, place it in a sealed bag or wrap it tightly in tape, flush it down the toilet, or if necessary save the wrapped up tick in thefreezer for later identification.
Please, never crush a tick with your fingers as you can release infectious diseases that way.
TICK BITE SYMPTOMS AND DISEASES
Ticks have the potential to transmit a deadly disease like Lyme disease. Lyme disease is from “Borrelia burgdorferi” which is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected ticks. Typical symptoms include headaches, fevers and skin rash called “Erythema migrans.” Untreated infections lead to spreading lyme disease to the joints and the heart.
Most tick-borne diseases require the tick to be attached for several hours before a person gets infected. Once the tick is completely removed, wait and see whether any signs or symptoms develop. If a large red mark forms around the tick bite, if you develop flu-like symptoms, rash or a more severe illness, contact your doctor immediately.
Here is information on tick borne diseases:
Contact Gulf Coast Exterminators for tick removal in Houston Texas and surrounding areas at 281.449.7404 and we can help create a safe tick-free environment at your home or business.