How to Protect Yourself from Ticks - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Aug 26, 2022

How to Protect Yourself from Ticks

 



New York State is known as a popular destination for outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, and enjoying wildlife, but with spending time outdoors comes the risk of exposure to ticks. While it is possible to come in contact with ticks year-round, ticks are most commonly encountered in the warmer months of the year, from April through September. 


Since ticks are so small, they usually go unnoticed when climbing on you and you may not know when you are exposed. It’s important to be cautious and lookout for ticks anytime you are outdoors—especially in New York State. Continue reading to learn five tips to keep you protected from ticks!

 

Dress Appropriately

One of the most effective methods to protect yourself from tick bites is by wearing clothing that covers your body, namely your arms and legs. It is best to wear long sleeves, long pants, tall socks, and shoes. With most of your body being covered, it is much harder for ticks to have access and attach to your skin. It is also recommended to wear light colored clothing to make crawling ticks easier to spot and less likely to blend in. If any ticks are found on your clothes, you should remove them with a pair of tweezers and place them in a sealed plastic bag. You can also wash and dry your clothes in high temperatures to kill ticks.





Be Aware of Tick Habitats

Ticks can’t fly or jump but they are mighty crawlers, and it is possible to come into contact with them anywhere outdoors. Ticks latch on to whatever brushes against them—meaning, in some cases, your arms and legs. Ticks are commonly found in areas such as wooded or brush environments, but they also live in areas with tall grass, brush, and leaf litter. It is smart to be cautious about where you are walking anytime you are outdoors, whether that be camping, hunting, gardening, or walking your dog. A tick check is recommended following any time spent outdoors.


Know Where to Look for Ticks

After you spend any time outdoors, you should do a full-body check for ticks. Ticks can crawl to any part of the body, but they prefer to attach to warm, soft areas. Some of the most common areas to check for ticks are the scalp, neck, belly button, in the ears or around them, behind the knees and under the arms. Some ticks are very small, and hard to spot. Certain areas may be difficult to see, but by using a mirror or asking someone to help, you should be able to check all areas. Taking a shower after spending time outdoors can also wash off any unattached ticks you may have missed.







Protect Your Pets from Ticks

Not only are we as humans susceptible to tick bites and the associated risks, but it is also common for ticks to attach to dogs and cats when they spend time outdoors. Ticks prefer warm areas, and they are commonly found around a pet’s tail, under the collar, in and around the ears, and in between toes. There are ways to avoid tick exposure with your pets, including medication, tick collars, or natural prevention. You can lower the amount of ticks in your backyard by keeping the grass short and preventing other animals from coming into your yard that might be carrying ticks, such as deer or raccoons.

 

How to Remove an Attached Tick

If you notice a tick attached to your body, the first thing you will want to do is remove it. There are plenty of different tick removal devices, but tweezers have developed a reputation as a popular and accessible tool in removing ticks. The CDC recommends removing ticks using fine-tip tweezers by pinching as close to the skin as possible, with an upward steady pressure and without twisting. You should make a careful effort to remove the tick in one piece to avoid missing any parts of the insect in your skin.

 

After removing the attached tick, watch for signs of sickness in the following days and weeks. While not every tick bite results in sickness; depending on where you live and how long the tick was attached, you may be susceptible to tickborne illness. If you become sick or notice any symptoms, contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

 

Removing pests is one of the less glamorous responsibilities of a homeowner. Stay proactive in keeping your home pest-free by reading these tips!