We don’t get too many ticks here in the Coast Mountains but they do show up and these little bastards can be a pain in the butt to remove as well as pose greater health risks.
Luckily, our Mountain Life editors get all kinds of random emails and one that came in this week is “The Top Ten Tick Prevention Tips” from American-based Tick-Borne Disease Alliance.
Ticks are active in the summer and in the “nymph phase” they’re smaller than a sesame seed so it can be hard to detect them. They like to burrow their gross heads into your flesh and gorge themselves on your blood. Also they are hard to remove, lots of time the body will bust off but the greasy little head will remain embedded in your body. These little buggers can carry a host of diseases but the freakiest is Lyme disease which can cause serious long-term disabilities.
So here are some of the Top Ten Tick Prevention Tips (re-interpreted by us.)
1. If you are not afraid of dousing yourself in weird chemicals you can use tick repellent or even tick repellent clothing. Google it.
2. Reduce the amount of exposed skin when int he bush or tall grass, wear long pants/sleeves.
3. Beware of deer trails and deer paths. Ticks can cling to the brush along the edges. walk in the centre of the path. Also avoid deer. Probably best not to rub up against any deer if you can help it.
4. Do a “tick check” whenever you come in from being out in the brush/grass. This is especially fun if you are with a member of the opposite sex as it requires nakedness and close examination in order to be thorough. Many Coast Mountain locals will even perform “tick checks” after a night at the bar…just playing it safe, eh?
5. In line with that, showering right after a day outdoors is another good way to remove any attached ticks.
6. Once you’re naked, if you don’t feel like inspecting all your clothes (and the other person’s) for ticks, just chuck it all in the dryer and crank that thing to high for 30 minutes or so in order to cook those ticks to death.
7. Keep an eye on your pet. Dogs are especially prone to ticks (as opposed to say, turtles) so pet and brush rover often and pay attention to any bumps or wounds on your pooch.
8. Ticks don’t care about fashion so if you are really worried feel free to tuck your pants into your socks. You’ll look like a tool but it may keep the ticks out.
9. Don’t just pull em out. Removal of a tick is important so here is asite from the TBD Alliance on how to properly remove ticks. When in doubt, go to a doctor.
No need to live the rest of your life in fear, ticks are not falling from the sky waiting to infect you, but they are out there so play smart, play safe and remember to promote naked tick checking as often as possible.
- Feet Banks, editor