The arrival of summer — and along with it all sorts of outdoors activities — also ushers in the arrival of ticks. This guide covers what to do in the event that you find a tick that has already bitten you and embedded itself in your skin. However, the best thing to do is to take a few precautions that’ll increase your chances of not having to extricate a tick from your person to begin with:
- Wear long-sleeved clothing — especially pants, as it’s often our legs that are most exposed to the grass and plants that we brush up against when outdoors.
- Ticks are particularly prone to moist and humid areas, so be especially careful in those conditions.
- Use repellent with DEET.
- When you’ve come indoors after spending time outdoors, check your clothing for ticks.
- After you’ve checked your clothing, shower soon after, and inspect yourself (including those hard-to-reach areas) for the buggers. [In a field environment, this is what your buddy team does for each other. – DTG]
While ticks have been scarily imprinted into our psyche, only one species of tick, and only a minority of that species, actually carry disease. Furthermore, when bitten, if the tick is removed within 24 hours, your chances of receiving a disease decrease even further. While you must be vigilant, following the tips above will ensure you’re always safe rather than sorry.