The Millstone Times June 2021

♥ HEALTH & WELLNESS Tick Time in NJ: Prevention By Stefanie Maglio T icks are small and may seem harmless, but these creatures often carry disease that can ultimately be deadly to humans and even animals. Don’t allow yourself to be bitten by a tick this season and learn how to prevent them.

Before going outdoors it is important to know where to expect ticks. Ticks live in moist and humid environments, particularly in or near wooded or grassy areas. Doing activities around your home, walking through leaves, or walking through shrubs can all put you at risk for being bitten by a tick. Products containing permethrin kills ticks. Boots and camping gear can be sterilized with it before going outdoors. Using a repellent with DEET on the skin is also effective. After you come indoors, it is crucial to check your body for ticks even if you think there is the slightest possibility you may have one. Remove your clothing and wash it in hot water to kill ticks that may have been on the material. Shower shortly after coming inside as well. Showering within two hours after coming indoors has been shown to reduce risk of Lyme disease. Plus, the shower is a perfect time to check your body for ticks. Make sure to check under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, back of the knees, in and around the hair, between the legs, and around the waist. Using a hand or full-length mirror may be helpful when checking the hard-to-reach places. Modifying your landscape can help to prevent ticks as well. Make sure there is no long grass or stray bunches of leaves. These are ideal places for ticks. Considering using a chemical agent if you believe there is a serious tick problem. Remember, chemicals can be very strong and harmful. Lastly, discourage deer. They can carry specific kinds of ticks and deposit them in your property. This means any pets you have that spend time outside can carry ticks as well, so check your pets regularly. If you happen to find a tick on your body, use tweezers to pull it straight out. Get as close to the skin as possible in order to remove the tick in its entirety. Watch for signs of illness such as rash and fever over the next few days and weeks. See a health care provider immediately if you have any concerns or notice any symptoms.

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