Unfortunately, were not the only ones who love the warm, sunny weather. Tick season is upon us, so be sure to know how to protect yourself - and your family members.
The first time I saw a tick was about three summers ago. My family’s golden retriever was proudly presenting me a three foot-long stick that she couldn’t quite carry properly when, by chance, I noticed that she had a lump under her collar. As it turns out, a deer tick had decided that hiding there would be a good place to feed and had become engorged—almost to the size of a grape.
Luckily, a quick phone call to the vet and a pair of tweezers resolved the issue. The incident, however, proved as a very real reminder that ticks are alive and sucking in the area where I live and, indeed, across much of Canada.
Know what to look for
Ticks can’t fly or jump, so these little opportunists transfer onto an animal—or a human being—who brushes up against any foliage that they may have crawled on. Once on a host, they normally make their way to a warm, moist location such as the armpits before settling down to draw blood.
While not all ticks cause illness, they are known carriers for the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, as well as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Tularemia, and others.
As with most things, the easiest thing to do when dealing with ticks is to not have to deal with them at all. Preventing the little bloodsuckers from grabbing hold in the first place is easy.
Most folk remedies, such as burning the tick with a match, can actually increase your risk of infection. Instead, try the following to remove a tick. If you can’t remove it, get professional help.
After removing the tick, watch for signs of infection the bite, and get checked immediately if you notice that an infection’s starting to develop, or if you get a rash, a fever, headaches, or flu-like symptoms.