How to Prevent Tick Bite?
The tick is a common parasite found in many areas of the United States. There are over 800 species of ticks, and they feed on humans and animals. Ticks are tiny, eight-legged arachnids that can carry diseases. They tend to attach themselves to you and feed on your blood for hours while you’re walking through the grass or brush. This blog post will provide tips on how to spot ticks before they have a chance to suck your blood, as well as prevention methods to avoid being bitten by ticks in the first place.
What are Ticks?
Ticks are small parasitic insects that feed on the blood of vertebrate animals or humans. Ticks are arachnids in the subclass Acari. Adults can be 1/2 inch long, oval-shaped, and brownish-black in color. They are soft-bodied with front legs that are much longer than other arthropods because they are designed for attachment.
Furthermore, these are parasites that feeds off of the fluids found in an animal’s skin and tissues using specialized feeding structures called chelicerae and stylets. It is usually only active at night when it will attach itself to its host, feed on its blood for between 5 and 14 days, and then drop off.
Where Do Ticks Come From?
Ticks come from all over the place. They are found in various climates and habitats around the world.
They vary in size depending on their species and where they live. These habitats include woodlands, scrublands, grasslands, mountains, and uplands. They attach themselves to their host using their front legs and stay there until they’re full of blood. Each tick species has a preferred host. For example, deer ticks prefer white-tailed deer. Some ticks even thrive in deserts! They are also found in birds, rodents, and reptiles.
The Adult female tick has a body approximately 2 millimeters long, the male approximately 1 millimeter. Tick larvae and nymphs (immature ticks) are much smaller, approximately 1/16″ (1.5 millimeters). Ticks and their larvae can be difficult to see, and they blend in very well with vegetation where they wait for a host to pass by.
Ticks are flat-bodied arachnids that you might find crawling around in your backyard or hanging out on your pet.
There are many different types of ticks, but the most common ones that feed on humans are the black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis), the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), and the brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus).
Blacklegged ticks carry the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. In addition, American dog ticks carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia, transmitting Colorado tick fever to humans. Brown dog ticks generally do not bite people, but they will cause a lesion where they feed because of their large mouthparts. They also can disseminate Rickettsia rickettsii, which causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Is Tick Bite Harmful?
Ticks are tiny blood-sucking creatures that attach themselves to the skin of animals or humans to feed on their blood. While most ticks are harmless, a few species can carry diseases such as Lyme disease.
Lyme disease is an infection caused by Borrelia bacteria that can be transmitted to humans through a bite from a tick. The Borrelia species of bacteria may infect people if bitten by an infected tick. When these bacteria enter the body, they also break down into pieces that can be spread to other parts of the body. If left untreated, Lyme disease can cause serious health problems.
This disease is most commonly found in the northeastern United States, but cases have been reported in all 50 states. The disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected tick. Symptoms of Lyme disease include, but are not limited to:
- A ring-like rash (Erythema migrans) around the bite site can expand slowly over days or weeks. The rash is usually warm and may feel itchy. It often has a bulls-eye appearance with central clearing. The size of the rash can vary from a few millimeters to hundreds of centimeters (inches).
- Fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, fatigue, malaise (feeling unwell), neck stiffness, swollen lymph nodes.
- Neurological symptoms include numbness or tingling sensations in the arms and legs or facial paralysis. Severe cases may also experience heart problems, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) or spinal cord (meningitis), and even death.
If you think you may have Lyme disease, see a doctor as soon as possible. If caught early, Lyme disease can be effectively treated with antibiotics, but it can cause serious health problems if left untreated.
How to Get Rid of Ticks?
There are several things you can do to reduce the chances that ticks will attach themselves to you, including:
- Wear light-colored clothing. This makes it easier to spot ticks on your clothes before they attach. Ticks tend to be most active in the warmer months, so wearing light-colored clothing can help you be more aware of them.
- Use insect repellent. Repellents containing DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) are the most effective at preventing tick bites.
- Check your body for ticks after being outside in areas where ticks are known to live, such as tall grass, woods, and leaf piles.
- Remove any ticks you find as soon as possible. Use fine-pointed tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull straight up until the tick is removed. Do not twist or jerk the tick, as this can cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin.
- After removing a tick, clean the bite area and your hands with soap and water. If you develop any Lyme disease symptoms, see a doctor as soon as possible.