How to survive tick attacks

Causing full-blown panic attacks, delaying jam sessions, distracting good drivers and putting everyone at risk for infection, ticks can be a nuisance.

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There’s nothing more disturbing, disgusting or sinister than the tiny parasites that rule summer.

Have you ever experienced that moment, jamming out in your car, when suddenly something is crawling on your arm?

You slowly twist it to see what’s causing the sensation. Then follow up with a full-blown freak out.

You’re fumbling to put the window down, thinking ‘has this thing always been so slow’ and pressing so hard your nail bed turns white. Finally, you heave your entire arm out as you correct yourself from driving into oncoming traffic.

The entire scene may have only lasted five seconds, but it was a long five seconds. It left your skin tingling and raised the hair on the back of your neck.

Frantically checking for another pest, you wonder where it came from and if it’s finally time to clear out the pile of junk on the passenger floor mat (or maybe that’s just me).

The good news is you’ll probably live. The bad news is ticks are not only responsible for interrupted jam sessions in the car, they can also spread diseases through the wide variety of pathogens they carry.

Luckily, you won’t miss a beat with these tips from Purdue University medical entomologist Catherine Hill in Ag Answers“Bit by a tick? Next step and species to know.”

How to prevent tick bites

  • Wear light colored clothing with long sleeves and pants tucked into socks in grassy or wooded areas.
  • Use EPA-approved repellent or treat your clothing with permethrin — a chemical widely used in insecticide.
  • Check yourself thoroughly once you go indoors.

Ticks can wander on your skin or clothing before selecting a feeding site, preferring hidden areas. Removing a tick within 24 hours lowers your chance of being infected.

How to remove a tick

  • Use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the pest and pull upwards with firm, consistent pressure.
  • DO NOT break the tick, use a match to burn it, smother it with mayonnaise or freeze it. Leaving part of its mouth behind could cause infection, while the other removal strategies are ineffective.
  • After you’ve removed the tick, completely, sterilize your wound.

How to recognize tick-borne disease symptoms

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Rash
  • Muscle aches and pains

However, reactions vary. Where some have extreme reactions, others have none. If you develop any symptoms within 10 days of contact or being in a tick habitat, seek immediate medical attention.

Now that you know the proper guidelines take a deep breath, remember that you’re probably not harboring any of these creepy critters and enjoy the outdoors!

Source: Ag Answers

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Sara is Farm and Dairy’s online content producer. Raised in Portage County, she earned a magazine journalism degree from Kent State University. She enjoys spending time with her daughter, traveling, writing, reading and outdoor recreation.

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