Ticks the season: How to prevent, find and get rid of ticks this summer


As the weather gets warmer, it’s important to be on the lookout for ticks in the yard, on our pets and near wooded, brushy areas.

» Related: Rare tick-borne illness worries some medical professionals 

If the bloodsucking arachnids are left around for too long, ticks can cause serious diseases such as Lyme Disease or the rare Powassan virus.

How to prevent ticks

“Ticks thrive in moist, shady areas and tend to die in sunny, dry areas,” mosquito and tick expert Russ Jundt said.

So, you can prevent ticks by making cleanliness (and avoiding those moist, shady areas) a big priority during the warmer months -- declutter your house, clean the yard and do both often, sanitizing every nook and crevice in your home.

» Related: What is Lyme disease and how to avoid it 

In addition to simply avoiding very wooded or brushy areas, removing wood piles and keeping grasses and weeds in your yard trimmed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using a repellent.

Repellants with at least 20 percent DEET, picaridin or IR3535 should be used on exposed skin.

And for on-clothing repellents, choose products with permethrin.

Not sure which insect repellent is right for you? The Environmental Protection Agency has a nifty tool to help you navigate the world of repellents and find the right choice.

>> Read more trending news

If you’re worried about ticks on your pets, try using a flea/tick collar, which has a natural repellent, or tick sprays.

The brand Bayer Seresto has collar options for both cats and dogs and has garnered top ratings on Amazon.

But the best prevention is to keep your yards, bushes and trees trimmed and to check your pets often (especially behind their ears).

If you have more questions about preventing ticks on pets, ask your local veterinarian for safe products.

» Related: Woman loses arms, legs after tick bite 

How to find and get rid of ticks

Planet Natural recommends wearing light-colored clothing when hanging around outside to better identify ticks.

After being outdoors in possibly tick-infested areas, take a shower within two hours and then search for ticks.

If you suspect ticks found their way to your clothing or bedspreads, wash everything in hot water for 10 minutes.

Check your body (and your kids’ and pets’ bodies) regularly, focusing on areas such as the underarms, in and around ears, in hair, inside the belly button, behind knees, between legs and around the waist, the CDC advises.

>> Related: WATCH: Young girl left temporarily paralyzed illustrates dangers of tick bites

 If you find a tick (or two), the CDC recommends using fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as closely to the skin's surface as possible and steadily pull upward to avoid causing the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin.

If the mouth-parts do break off, remove them with tweezers. And if you can’t remove the mouth-parts, just leave it alone and let the skin heal by itself.

Once you’ve removed the tick, clean the bite area and wash your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub or soap and water.

If the tick is still alive, submerge it in alcohol, place it in a sealed bag or container and wrap it tightly in tape before you throw it in the trash.

You can also flush the tick down the toilet, but the CDC does not recommend crushing the bug with your fingers.

If you think you need a professional, do your research to find professional fumigators to treat your home or, if you’re renting, refer to your leasing office, landlord or community members for resources.

For more information on tick prevention, removal and how to identify symptoms of tick bites, visit CDC.gov.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Trump repeats assertion that Democrats are to blame for separating children at border
Trump repeats assertion that Democrats are to blame for separating children at border

President Donald Trump remained resistant Monday in the face of growing public outcry over his administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the border, repeating the false assertion that Democrats were the ones to blame for it, and suggesting that criminals — not parents — were toting juveniles to the United...
Video: Florida family saves kitten from interstate
Video: Florida family saves kitten from interstate

A Jacksonville, Florida, family saved a kitten from the side of a freeway Sunday. Rebecca Marshall rescued the kitten, while her daughter, Allison Bullard, caught the entire event on video. The rescue happened where I-95 North nears the Zoo Parkway. Marshall said she was looking out the window when she spotted the kitten. “We hurried and got...
SEE: Image of Trump in the clouds really does look like him
SEE: Image of Trump in the clouds really does look like him

Who hasn’t played the cloud game? It’s a rite of childhood, but usually the fluffy white clouds tend to look like familiar shapes and objects.  >> Read more trending news  For a South Carolina man, it was quite different. AJ Brackins snapped a photo of a giant dark cloud that resembled a profile of President Donald Trump...
Father and son re-create police photo for Father's Day
Father and son re-create police photo for Father's Day

In Auburn, Washington, a son who followed his father into law enforcement recreated a 20-year-old photo with his dad, and the photo has generated hundreds of positive comments on Facebook.  Officer Andy Gould and his son were pictured in 1998 inside Gould’s Auburn police patrol car.  “When I get bigger, I’m going to be my...
Man indicted, accused of dragging dog behind truck causing serious injuries
Man indicted, accused of dragging dog behind truck causing serious injuries

A metro Atlanta man has been indicted for aggravated cruelty to animals and aggravated assault after dragging his dog behind his truck and pointing a handgun at a witness, authorities said. >> Read more trending news  The incident happened in early February. Emory Junior Samples, 71, was arrested after witnesses reported seeing a dog being...
More Stories