The University of Rhode Island TickEncounter Resource Center is a great resource. We wanted to share their top 3 easiest ones that anyone can do, no excuses.
In a page titled, TickSmart ™ Tips for TickSafe Living!, 5 tips were given by the Center but 3 are the most simple and easy ones to do. Tip #1 involves duct tape. Where would repair people, mechanics and homeowners be without this 11th Wonder of the Fix-it World? Well, there’s yet another use for it when it comes to ticks. Before ticks become attached to your skin or your dog’s skin, tear off a piece of duct tape and “stick it to them”. Blotting up any ticks on the skin removes the tick and prevents them from becoming lost before you can throw them out. Use a big enough piece of tape to fold it over the tick after removing it and seal them inside. When you’re done, throw the tape in the trash. How easy is that?
The second tip involves your toilet. It’s OK; this one isn’t as bad as it sounds. Since you have some privacy and your pants and lower garments are off it’s easy to spot any ticks on your skin. Ticks like to hang out for a free meal in grassy and brushy areas. They climb to a height anywhere from our ankles to knees. They dry out quickly in the heat and sun so they try to find shade ASAP. When they find you, that shade is under your clothes and not outside the fabric. Once they get near your skin, they begin looking for places where the skin is thin and where the biggest blood supply can be found. That is usually in the creases and folds of our skin, such as your waist and groin area.
Using the toilet exposes these areas to our view more than any other time of the day, so it’s a good time to check for ticks in areas of our body normally hidden from our view. If you feel a bump on your skin in an area and you can’t see clearly, it’s a good idea to inspect more closely with a mirror and flashlight. Larvae and nymph ticks are very small so you may miss them if you are in a hurry to check. Finding a tick embedded in your skin and removed within the first 24 hours it attaches will greatly improve your chances of not getting a tick-borne infection.
The third and last tip uses something we mentioned earlier about ticks. They need moist environments and dry out quickly in the heat. Hard ticks and soft ticks all need moisture, especially hard ticks like deer ticks. Other soft ticks take a bit longer to dry out. So tip #3 is to put the clothes you wore outside in the dryer as soon as you come indoors. Do this before washing them. Ten minutes on high heat will dry out hard ticks and 15+ minutes will dry out the softer ones. Washing won’t destroy ticks, no matter how hot the water. Remember, they need moisture and are active in warm months so warmth and water are their two best friends. Very dry and hot are their worst nightmare. Once your clothes are finished in the dryer, wash them knowing you won’t be releasing any ticks into your closets or clothes hamper.
In addition to these tick tips, you can prevent ticks from ever reaching you when at home in your yard. Mosquito Squad of Leominster will apply a perimeter spray in your yard that serves as a barrier to ticks, as well as mosquitoes. Our proven and effective traditional barrier spray will eliminate 85-90% of the ticks in your yard. Preventing ticks from ever reaching you is one of the most effective ways you can prevent tick-borne infections in your family. In addition, you will enjoy your yard more during warmer months knowing everyone is better protected.