When summer arrives, people love to spend time outside. Unfortunately, this is the time that bugs are most active—especially ticks. After a day outdoors, it’s important to make sure bugs didn’t follow you inside. If a tick decides you would make the perfect host, you’ll need to know how to deal with it. Check out where to look for ticks and how to safely remove them.
Ticks are arachnids that feed on the blood of their host. Their preferred host varies between species, but they will choose other hosts based on availability. Some prefer animal hosts while others prefer humans. When they find a host, they will latch onto their skin, clothing, or fur.
Ticks are small, but their bodies will swell after a blood meal. Their color varies depending on the species, but most are typically a shade of brown.
These arachnids live in wooded areas, grasslands, and inside the homes of human hosts. American dog ticks are most often encountered by humans, while the brown dog tick is most often found in homes.
Where Do Ticks Live?
When the temperature rises, ticks begin to emerge. They’re most active between April and September. Ticks prefer wooded areas and places with vegetation. They are drawn to grass, trees, and shrubs, making your yard the perfect home for ticks. If your furry friends like to spend time outside, your yard may be even more attractive to ticks. Certain tick species, like the American dog tick, prefer dogs as their host.
How to Check for Ticks
Whenever you’re in areas where ticks are likely to be found, it’s important to check for ticks after returning inside. Here are a few things to keep in mind when checking for these pests.
- Ticks like to bite areas that are warm and moist.
- Ticks remain on the skin after biting. When looking for ticks, you may spot one latched onto your skin, but it could also be moving around in search of a place to bite.
- Check for ticks in and around your hair and ears, on the back of your knees, your waist, legs, and belly button.
- Don’t forget to check your furry family members when they come inside too.
How to Remove Ticks
If you find a tick on you, it’s best to remove it immediately. Follow these steps to safely remove the tick.
- Using tweezers, grasp the tick, staying as close to the skin as possible.
- Slowly, pull the tick upward, keeping the movement steady and straight.
- Avoid twisting to prevent the mouthparts from detaching. If this happens, use the tweezers to pull them out. If you can’t, it’s best to contact a doctor.
- Dispose of the tick by placing it in alcohol, a sealed container, or flushing it down the toilet. Don’t try to crush the tick.
- After the tick has been removed, clean the area with soap and water or rubbing alcohol. This will help to prevent infection.
- If after a tick bite you experience a rash, fever, muscle pain, fatigue, swelling or pain in joints, seek medical attention. These are signs of a severe reaction to the tick bite.
How to Prevent Ticks
Worrying about ticks can hinder your outdoor fun. The good news is that there are things you can do to prevent ticks. Check out a few tips to avoid these pests.
- Keep your lawn trimmed so ticks have fewer places to hide.
- Cover your skin when outside to make it more difficult for ticks to latch on to you.
- You can also apply a tick repellent like our plant-based Natural Insect Repellent. It’s an effective and more family and environmentally-friendly solution that can even be used on your dogs.
- To keep ticks out of your yard, our plant-based Mosquito & Tick Killer spray can help. It kills ticks on contact and has repellent properties.
Despite our best efforts, sometimes ticks manage to find us. If you find one on you, it’s important to quickly and carefully remove it. We’ve provided steps to help make this process easier for you. If you’re looking for a way to protect your home from bugs, try our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective™ Pest Control products.