When dealing with pests, ticks are among the worst. Their small size and penchant for sucking blood, while posing a risk for spreading disease, makes them as repulsive as they are elusive. However, there are ways to prevent infestation while keeping your family and your pets safe from infection.
Many available products can easily prevent and dispose of ticks. Spray in areas such as doorways, cracks, crevices and windows where ticks may have access. Insect growth regulators will help prevent immature ticks from developing into breeding adults. Keep in mind that ticks are biologically inclined to climb. They will scale high grasses and foliage to hitch a ride on passing animals. For those who don’t like to use chemicals, cedar oil is claimed to be naturally effective against ticks. Cedar oil does little to no harm to more welcome insects such as butterflies and bees. In cases of a severe infestation, calling in an exterminator is the final option.
If there are pets in the home, multiple treatments can be used to ensure they don’t become infected and bring ticks into the home. Fur treatments that are applied externally once a month are quite useful. However, if coming into contact with them is a concern, monthly pills administered orally are another option. Shampoo and tick and flea collars are also helpful.
Ensure that before entering the home from outside, particularly where ticks like to reside such as grassy fields, farm lands, or areas frequented by wildlife, shake out pants and socks, and check shoes for any unwanted hitchhikers. Regularly clean rugs and pet bedding to make sure ticks haven’t taken up refuge. It’s suggested to put articles in the dryer on a high setting prior to washing. In this way, the heat kills the ticks first.
Ticks love high grass and dense foliage. Keeping a lawn or property well maintained and preventing overgrowth will keep most ticks away. Leaf litter, and bird and animal nesting need to be cleared out of any areas where a person might go since ticks often feed on these animals and will frequent those spots. Also, be sure to wear long sleeves and pants, tucking pant leggings into socks so that a tick is unable to get underneath the garment to the skin.
If a tick is found embedded in the skin, don’t panic and hastily remove the tick. Since ticks may carry diseases and bacteria, decapitating it or puncturing its body may result in infection. Instead, take a pair of small tweezers and gently pinch the tick around the head, as close to the skin as possible. Slowly lift the tick out and place it in a sealed plastic bag before disposing of it in the trash outside the house. Do not attempt to smother the tick; this method is not effective for removal. Clean the bite area with soapy water and treat it with rubbing alcohol or iodine. If you’re concerned about infection or disease, retain the tick for identification purposes and consult a doctor.
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