The great outdoors is home to some pretty creepy creatures, and ticks are particularly nasty.
Ticks are arachnids just like spiders…but instead of minding their own business they jump onto you, burrow into your skin, and feast on your blood.
Ticks are a very real survival threat. Many of them carry Lyme disease, which is a serious condition when left untreated and can even be fatal.
I wrote this post to show you a few tricks for protecting yourself against these blood-sucking parasites.
Why is the Tick Population Growing?
The tick population is exploding at an alarming rate, and as a result more people are getting bitten…but why?
There are many potential reasons why the tick population is growing, but scientists have a few theories.
One possible explanation is that the growing tick population is caused by a growing deer population. Deer are one of the most popular hosts for ticks, so it makes sense that more deer means more ticks.
Another explanation is that ticks have been enjoying shorter seasons of freezing temperatures which usually kills them off.
Also, new suburbs have been built in areas that used to be wilderness. The ticks who continue to live there call it home.
Protecting Yourself From Ticks Before They Bite
The best way to deal with ticks is to not get bitten in the first place, but that’s easier said than done.
When working in your yard or going for a hike in the woods, try to wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. This will prevent the ticks from getting on your skin.
However, the ticks will still be on your clothes, and if you don’t pick them off you’ll bring them inside your house with you.
Wearing light colored clothes can help you spot the reddish-brown ticks easier so you can pick them off before bringing them indoors.
Also, you should have a bottle of insect repellent that works against ticks. This will help keep ticks from burrowing.
How to Safely Remove a Tick If You’ve Been Bit
With the growing tick population, the odds are that you’ll have a tick on you at some point. Knowing how to safely remove the tick will keep you safe and prevent you from making the situation worse.
All you need to remove a tick is a pair of tweezers.
Grab the tick on its head as close to the skin as possible. Using steady gentle pressure, gradually lift straight up without twisting. Twisting will snap its head off and make it hard to remove.
Never grab the body of the tick because this will force it to regurgitate onto your skin and could lead to an infection.
There are other methods of removing ticks, such as cotton swabs with liquid soap or by burning it with an extinguished match…but these don’t work as well as tweezers.
The match and soap methods will make the tick panic, which will cause it to vomit onto your skin so it can quickly escape.
By using tweezers and squeezing the head, you’re preventing the tick from regurgitating.
Have you ever had any run-ins with ticks? If so, how did you remove it? Share your story with us in the comments section below!