With spring in full swing and warm weather rolling in, it’s almost camping season! Though this time of year can be filled with endless outdoor fun, it also puts you and your furry friends at risk of tick bites. A tick bite may not seem like a big deal, especially if you are able to safely remove the pest on your own. However, these small pests can cause a number of serious complications, such as:
- Tick-borne diseases: Ticks are parasites that feed on the blood of their host. By jumping from host to host, they can spread serious diseases between people. Common but serious diseases caused by ticks include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, and tularemia.
- Allergic reaction: Though most people will only experience a mildly irritating red or itchy spot after a tick bite, some people may have bigger reactions. From hives and blisters to shortness of breath, a tick bite could trigger a serious allergic reaction in some.
- Infection: Ticks feed by breaking through and burrowing into their host’s skin, where they may remain for up to 10 days. This kind of open wound can leave the body vulnerable to infections that may require medical attention. Improper tick removal could also leave the head behind, which could lead to issues during the healing process.
- Pet health issues: Most pet owners understand how challenging it can be to keep your furry friend tick-free, especially if they frequently go outdoors. However, ticks are not just itchy and uncomfortable for your pets; these pests can also cause health issues such as anemia, Lyme disease, and canine ehrlichiosis.
Tips for Avoiding Ticks
Avoiding ticks may seem like an impossible task, especially given how small these tiny pests are. Thankfully, though, there are a few precautions you can take to avoid tick bites this spring and summer. To keep yourself and your pets safe, follow these tips for avoiding ticks:
- Avoid grassy, brushy, or wooded areas.
- Check your pets, clothing, and gear before coming inside.
- Shower and change clothes after being outdoors.
- Consider using an EPA-registered insect repellent.
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