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Ticks are small, parasitic insects that can be particular in their choice of host. Unfortunately, it’s effortless for ticks to find a host and latch on to them. Immediately after the germ is attached, the saliva from the tick travels into the victim’s blood, injecting saliva into veins. This “saliva” causes red blood cells in victims’ bloodstreams to clump together, forming a protective layer around the parasite. Here’s your guide on how to check for Ticks to save you.
What Are Ticks?
Ticks fall under the parasitic classification. They are related to spiders. They have 8 legs and an oval-shaped body that grows or swells when they eat. They feed on humans, birds, and all other types of animals.
They are tiny; even the adult and fully mature ticks are the exact sizes of an apple seed, but they swell when they feed. It is difficult to spot them; they cause disease without getting caught.
1. What Diseases Are Caused by Ticks?
You probably heard before that not going to cause Lyme disease; not only that, but they can also give you a high fever. They result in various other problems; they even come in the second position, just after mosquitos cause diseases in humans.
Not how Ticks cause illness by passing through viruses, bacteria, and parasites, basically, those who feed on their hosts. It gives flu symptoms like fever, muscle pain, and cold most of the time. Below mentioned are tick-borne illnesses.
1.1. Borrelia Miyamoto
This disease is caused by black-legged ticks usually found in the Upper Midwest and Northeast. In this usually, the person experiences pain in joints and flu symptoms. Antibiotics are used to treat this problem.
This is another issue caused by the tick bite of black-legged ticks; as mentioned earlier, they are found in the Upper Midwest and Northeast. People suffering from this get parasites in their red blood cells. It is a severe problem if you have weak immunity.
1.3. Colorado Tick Fever
Checking for ticks also causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This disease is caused by the tick bites of Rocky Mountain wood tick. As the name suggests, these ticks are found in Rocky Mountain states at around 5,000 to 10,000 feet high. In this issue, a person will experience a mild fever for a few days and then get it every day, but there are chances of experiencing fever again; primarily, the fever is low to mild.
Again, it is a disease caused by black-legged ticks. On the West Coast, western black-legged bites can cause this, and In the Northeast and Upper Midwest, the northern black-legged bites can cause this problem.
The lone star tick is usually found in the south-central and eastern parts of the United States, the bite can cause this problem. A person merely experiences its symptoms, and sometimes they can notice rashes. Antibiotics are used to treat this problem.
If you find ticks anywhere around you, it’s better to kill ticks effectively to take precautions for disease control. So, to avoid serious diseases, mainly prevent Lyme disease tick check, tumble dry clothes, and avoid the route of tick-infested areas. Besides this, there are some other ways to check for tick-borne illnesses.
2. Does Every Tick Cause Diseases?
Not all, but in most cases, the following ticks result in calling illness to people:
- Brown dog tick
- Deer Ticks
- Wood Ticks
- Gulf Coast Tick
- Rocky Mountain Wood Tick
- Lone Star Tick and
- Western Blacklegged Tick
3. Where Do Ticks Live?
At least one type of disease-causing tick is easily found anywhere in the US. Although there is more than one type, every tick present in some places can cause various diseases. For instance: In the Northeast area, Lyme disease is common
Ticks usually live in wooded areas where many tall grass, leaves, shrubs, and weeds are available. All the places from where they can easily latch onto animals that pass near them. They even make their home in the overgrown grass present in your yard, woodpiles, and bird feeders.
4. Who’s Likely to Become the Prey of Ticks?
Not just those who remain outside most of the time, but people who get Lyme disease because ticks bite while gardening, playing, or even outside your house in the yard. Ticks latch on to animals like rats, dogs, or other pets to get a ride. That’s how they enter your yard, so if you have ticks in your area, there is a chance of getting bitten by ticks.
5. How to Check?
You are already using repellent for ticks, yet you need to double-check for your safety. Let’s assume that ticks are present around your area. So you need to look for ticks on yourself; perhaps you visit a park with your dog or enjoy a picnic with your loved ones outdoors.
Everyone knows now that ticks are not just annoying; they can also be dangerous, even if it is only in your yard. Follow the below-mentioned steps for tick checks.
5.1. Perform A Simple Check
Do a quick check all over yourself and your kids every time you cross a tick area. But make sure not to hit the road while walking and checking. The daylight probably exposes if a tick is sitting or moving on your body. Check your hair with your fingers, also don’t forget to check your back and neck.
If you have someone around you, don’t forget to ask them to check your clothes. Check your shoes as ticks can hide there. You will probably need some extra time if you’re wearing denim, as it is challenging to look for ticks on denim.
5.2. Check Every Detail
It would help if you looked closely at some important places to avoid problems with ticks. After crossing a tick area, try to search for a place where you can stop to look for ticks. Within 1 or 2 hours, strip down. It’s better if you have a mirror or you can sit in a bathroom. After that, closely check ticks.
Use your fingers and check appropriately on your scalp. The scalp and other parts are not your sight like the crotch, ears, or armpits. It is found that ticks go to the armpits or in the back of the knees. Hotspots – which are warmer areas – are preferred by them.
Consider removing ticks or killing ticks if you find any. Consider taking a shower, but don’t assume that water can wash all ticks away. Don’t forget to check your children if they are out with you.
Another thing to remember is that if you notice a bump, although they are minimal, you can’t see all bumps. If you notice a slight bump, then consider investigating it.
5.3. Change Outfit
This probably sounds very sensitive or overlooked, but when you check for tiny ticks on your body, they make their home in your clothes. So, it is better not to wear them again; instead, consider washing them and putting on a fresh outfit. It is best to dry your clothes for 10 minutes with a dryer to remove ticks, as a hot dryer removes most of the ticks present in your clothes.
5.4. Check Your Way
Ticks can hide until they find the right host for themselves. They can quickly jump off to different surfaces. So besides checking yourself, check your bags if you are out with one; if you are enjoying a picnic, check your basket, on hiking, check your gear bags, and don’t forget to check your vehicle once.
Use tick repellent before going out. This is an excellent process to follow to avoid ticks’ problems, but it is not fully confirmed that you will not see them after that. As ticks are very tiny, it becomes difficult sometimes; even after following the process, ticks remain, but at least you can follow it from your side to avoid dangerous circumstances.
6. Some Other Precautions
- Try avoiding areas covered with high grass, bushes, or leaves, and prefer walking on the trails (in the center).
- Prefer using repellent with over 20% of DEET, IR3535, or picaridin; apply on skin exposed to ticks; this will protect your skin for a few hours.
- To treat your shoes, socks, pants, clothes, gear, and other things, prefer using a product with permethrin.
- Don’t forget to check your dogs or other pets for ticks; dogs are likely to be bitten by ticks and can fall prey to tick-borne diseases.
- Not just that, they can also become a ride for ticks to your home. So, consider using tick spray, collars, and shampoos to protect your dog from ticks.
- Avoid direct contact with ticks and do regular medical checkups of pets.
7. Final Note
Ticks are parasites that can cause various diseases, so you need to protect yourself, your children, and your pets from them to avoid problems. Using repellent for ticks can be helpful, but it is not enough. Don’t forget to check your armpits. Also, don’t use any repellent on babies who are not even 2 months old.
Last Updated on December 1, 2023 by Namrata123