What to Do If You or Your Pet Gets Bitten by a Tick
When considering a response to a tick bite, there are several factors to consider. The immediate removal of a tick or the treatment for a bite comes first. After removing the tick, it is important to know where to look for other ticks that may be attached. Then, you must consider what needs to be done to prevent future bites from occurring. Do you have ticks in your home or was the tick picked up outside? Should you call a professional or shouldn't you? Let's break it down.
Early detection and proper removal of ticks can prevent the spread of tick-borne diseases. Some diseases can take as long as 48 hours to transfer from an infected tick. But improper removal can allow for more disease-causing bacteria to enter the site of the wound. Use these tips for proper removal.
- The best tool for the job is a tick-removal tool. If you do not have one, the next best option is a set of needle-nose tweezers. Do not use dull-tipped tweezers.
- When removing the tick, pinch it toward the head and avoid pinching its abdomen.
- Pull straight away from the skin with steady pressure. Don't jerk or twist during removal. You don't want to accidentally break the mouthparts off and have them lodged in your skin.
- Once the tick has been removed, use rubbing alcohol to sterilize the wound.
- Dispose of the tick outside or in the toilet and wash your hands. If you choose to keep it to show to your physician, put it in a sealed plastic bag.
Once you've removed the tick, do a search for others. Run your hands across the skin and feel for a tiny bump.
- On an adult, ticks are rarely found on the feet, neck, head, or rough skin of the knees and elbows. Everywhere else is fair game.
- On a child, ticks can be found everywhere but the feet, with the head being a common location. Look behind the ears and in the hair of your child first.
- On a dog or cat, ticks prefer to attach between the toes or inside the ears but they can be anywhere on the skin.
There are many diseases that are spread by ticks. Some of them are a serious threat to the health of humans and pets. If not treated early, some tick-borne diseases can become chronic and present lifelong health issues. If you get a fever or notice a rash after being bitten by a tick, seek medical attention immediately and let your physician know that you've been bitten by a tick. If you find multiple ticks on your dog or cat, consider a visit to the vet.
Ticks in the House
If you believe you have a tick problem inside your home, there are some things you should know.
- We have several species of tick in our Maryland and Virginia service area. Most of these tick species can't live in your home. They are carried inside. You, your pets, or someone living in your home may have brought those ticks in.
- Ticks that can't live inside your home can still be a significant threat if you have a mouse or a rat infestation. A single field mouse can have as many as 100 seed ticks on its body.
- The one tick species that can complete its entire life cycle inside is the brown dog tick. This tick is reddish brown with no dot, no marble coloration, and no orange crescent moon on its back. When you find it, it may be engorged. This can make identification difficult. Reach out to a professional for assistance.
Ticks in the Yard
The frontline of tick protection is your foundation perimeter. This is where ticks are likely to wait and cling to a passing host. It is also where wild animals and birds drop ticks as they explore your yard. When a professional sprays your yard for ticks, your landscaping is one of the key locations that will be targeted first. This spray is residual. Not only will it eliminate any ticks that are present, it stays in place between visits to eliminate new ticks that are introduced.
Professional Tick Control
In light of the serious threat ticks present to humans, dogs, and cats, it is best to invest in professional tick control when ticks appear. If you need professional tick control in Maryland, Northern Virginia or D.C., the team at American Pest is here to help. Contact us for immediate assistance.
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