If you’ve been following Oklahoma news lately, you may have noticed that the subject of ticks and tick-borne diseases has increased. Not only are ticks creepy and suck blood, but they can also transmit 14 different diseases to humans. Most recently we noted a tragic story about a woman from Shawnee who contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever from a tick bite she received during the 4th of July weekend while visiting Grand Lake. The disease spread too quickly and now she is sadly a quadruple amputee. It sounds like an all around, horrible situation, but it is one that can be avoided if the proper precautions are taken.
The best way to avoid contracting a serious tick-borne disease is to keep ticks off your body. Here are a few tips to help protect yourself from ticks:
Use an effective insect repellent – Unfortunately, not all insect repellents work against ticks. You’ll need to look for a repellent that contains DEET or the even stronger chemical, Permethrin, that kills ticks as well as repels them. However, product containing Permethrin should only be sprayed on clothing and shoes, never directly on skin.
Dress appropriately – When venturing out into the wilderness, wear long sleeves and long pants with tall socks to give ticks as little access to your skin as possible. You can even tuck your pants into your socks. It’s not very flattering, but it does create a physical barrier against ticks. Wear light-colored clothing so that ticks are easier to spot, especially tiny deer ticks. When you get home, you can even throw your clothes in the dryer for an hour. The heat will kill them.
Think full sun – Ticks aren’t very prominent in dry, open areas. Set lawn furniture and playground equipment back away from the edge of wooded, shady areas. Also, if you’re out on a picnic, look for a patch of well-tended lawn on some open ground.
Keep to the beaten path – Ticks prefer shady, wooded areas with plenty of leaves, low-lying plants, and shrubs. Avoid tall grassy areas too. You’re less likely to come in contact with ticks if you keep to the middle of the path when hiking and don’t venture out into uncharted territory.
Tick check – After your journey in the wilderness concludes, always inspect yourself and your children as soon as possible. Most ticks are picked up on the lower legs and then climb upward, so be sure to check legs and the groin area. The shower is always a good place to conduct a self-check as you can fee for any new bumps on soaped-up skin.
At Emtec Pest Control, we are committed to safe and responsible pest control. We understand that your family’s safety is your number one priority, so we make it our priority, too. If you have any other questions about any of these pests or pest control for your home or business, contact your Oklahoma pest control experts at Emtec Pest Control by calling us or by filling out our online contact form. Our service areas in Northeast Oklahoma include Bixby, Broken Arrow, Catoosa, Owasso, Jenks, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Skiatook, Stillwater, Tulsa and the surrounding areas. In Central Oklahoma, we service Edmond, Moore, Oklahoma City, Yukon and the surrounding areas. You can also connect with us on social media for more helpful pest control tips and information. We are on Facebook.