Can I get a tick bite in the fall or winter?

Author: Mosquito Squad of Chelmsford & Cambridge

Like so many unanticipated surprises in life, when you least expect it, they bite. Ticks, that is.

Those miserable, ugly, volatile insects are deemed to be the most dangerous insects on the face of the planet. And tick bites in the cooler months of the year are not uncommon.

For the best protection available, choose year-round tick control with the use of tick tubes. Tick tubes are placed around your property in the late fall. They have an insecticide-treated cotton filling, which mice carry to their nests, where many ticks live. This added method of protection can literally break the 2-year tick life cycle, resulting in fewer ticks emerging in the spring.

What do ticks eat to survive?

Like teeny, little vampires, ticks need blood to survive. And they’re not picky. Their blood sources of choice are rodents and deer. The blood of those host animals may contain germs, which are then transferred to the feeding ticks and can be passed on to humans later on. Ticks survive the cooler months by hiding in autumn fallen, moist leaves, tall grasses, and outdoor wood piles, where they can take respite from all kinds of weather.

Some mistakenly believe that ticks drop down on you from trees, but that's not true. Instead, they usually attach to you when you brush against them, often while walking through tall grass, piles of leaves or shrubs. Dogs and outdoor cats commonly pick up ticks because they often walk through undergrowth and shrubs. And then they can find their way to you and your family. And that is when they can wreak havoc.

What should I do if I get a tick bite?

First and foremost, don’t panic. If a tick has attached itself to your skin, it's important to remove it as soon as possible. Doing so will lower your risk of getting a tick-borne illness, such as Lyme disease.

Special tools are available for removing ticks, including tick tweezers, tick-removal cards and hook-like instruments. These tools are shaped to make it easy to slide them between the tick and your skin without squeezing the tick. You can find these kinds of aids in drug stores, for example.

Normal tweezers can also be used, as long as the tips of the tweezers bend inwards. If the tips are flat, the tick will be squeezed when you try to get hold of it. This should generally be avoided, as bacteria and germs could be squeezed out of the tick and into your body.

If tweezers are not available, another tick removal method is to remove a tick gently. You can put some dishwashing liquid on a piece of gauze and rub the tick gently. It will just come out or let go on its own, where you can carefully wipe up and away from the tick’s point of entry.

If you remove the tick at home, The Squad recommends washing the area and then waiting to see whether the rash or fever that's typical of Lyme disease develops before starting treatment.

Be safe, not sorry. Get effective year-round tick control from Mosquito Squad to reduce your chances of a tick bite.

Contact Mosquito Squad of Chelmsford and Cambridge today for more information and a free quote, right here. Join the families we protect year-round in Acton, Chelmsford, Cambridge, Lowell and the surrounding areas.