As you spend time outdoors camping, hunting or taking a break at a wooded truck stop, it’s important to take preventative measures and take the time to avoid tick bites.
We all know that besides from being an annoying and invasive pest, ticks can carry some nasty viruses. Even though chances of infection from a tick-bite are low, they can be severe and even fatal from viruses including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Southern tick- associated rash illness.
To prevent tick bites, it’s important to do the following:
Wear protective clothing such as long sleeved shirts and pants tucked into socks or taped around boots with rubber bands or blousing tape.
Use Insect Repellents containing with at least 20% concentration of DEET on all exposed skin and clothing. Lower concentrations don’t repel Missouri’s most common tick the lone-star tick.
Conduct a through tick check. Never allow more than a few hours to pass without an inspection when outdoors. Shower as soon as possible once you return indoors. The sooner the tick is found, the lower the chances of infection.
Check all areas of the body. The most common areas ticks bite are in and around the hair, inside the belly button, between the legs, back of knees, in and around the ears and under the arms.
If you find a tick, act fast and follow the instructions below:
Remove the tick as quickly as possible to lower your chances of infection. Use tweezers to grab the tick’s head as close to the skin as possible. With minimum force necessary, remove without twisting or jerking. The goal is to keep the contents of the tick’s stomach out of the bite.
Clean the area and tick bite as soon as possible with rubbing alcohol, iodine scrub, soap, and water.
Watch for symptoms in the days that follow such as flu-like symptoms, severe head or body aches, rashes or dizziness. If symptoms occur, consult a doctor as soon as possible and make sure to mention the tick bite. The quicker you can be the treated with antibiotics, the more likely it will prevent serious illness.