The discovery of a tick embedded in my upper thigh is one experience I will never forget. It was not the most pleasant thing to have happen while traveling, and it gave me an idea for how not to repeat that mistake.
The joy of discovery is quickly replaced by abject horror when you find yourself screaming in a public toilet. My most memorable travesty involved an engorged tick happily embedded between my thighs.
Tick awareness is something that I have always been conscious of, both because my dog receives tick protective medication each spring and also as a result from reading through park newsletters every time we go camping. That was a risky move. I never would have thought that ticks are actually attracted to me.
I can’t say that I was ever really worried about getting a tick. But after my near miss, it’s become clear to me just how dangerous these creatures are and what they feed on.
They’re like tiny vampires with teeth no wonder people who live in woodlands or forests always wear gloves when hiking outdoors because their hands could easily become the next meal for ticks. if you aren’t careful enough while picking herbs for tea leaves (or something else), these ticks could feed on you.
What Ticks Bite Humans?
Ticks are pesky creatures that can attach themselves to your skin without you even realizing. The Centers for Disease Control reports nine different kinds of ticks in America, including two species capable of transmitting diseases like deer and mouse.
Ticks are blood sucking parasites that feed on our body’s nutrients. They’re also known to carry disease, which is why it pays off so much for us humans not only to avoid being bitten but keep an eye out when walking through grassy areas or woodlands where they might be hiding.
The ick factor is only one of many reasons to be tick cautious.
You might have heard of “deer ticks” otherwise known as the blacklegged tick and western pipistrelle. These pesky insects bite both deer, along with many other animals including humans.
While the two most common species of tick are found all over, the nine varieties can be responsible for spreading serious diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. These pesky bugs have been on a rise in recent years because they’re becoming easier to find with increased population sizes due to their hosts’ warming temperatures.
In 2017, more people were diagnosed with Lyme disease than ever before in the United States.
This is a trend that has been occurring for decades but became noticeable in the 90s when cases tripled.
Ways To Avoid Getting Ticks
Ticks are everywhere, and it’s important to take precautions against them.
This includes people who spend time outdoors anywhere whether it’s camping or hiking outside of city limits as well those living an urban lifestyle
My unwanted guest found me when I least expected it. While taking photographs in an open air historical village museum, this creature jumped out at me from behind some tall grass and scratched my arm viciously before nursing its bite wounds right into my skin.
My experience with ticks is a telltale sign that you don’t need to go outside for them. The little monsters are everywhere, including on your dog.
Avoid Grassy Areas
To avoid ticks, try not to walk through tall grass or dense underbrush. These areas are prime real estate for these pesky insects that love nothing more than attaching themselves onto your skin.
When camping, it’s important to be mindful of where you pitch your tent.
When camping, make sure to find a place that is away from the edge of your campsite and bring along portable chairs so you don’t have to sit directly on ground. Be careful when walking through lightly used paths as grown brush may attract harmful animals.
Wear Loose-Fitting Clothing
The key to avoiding ticks is keeping your skin covered. The loose fitting shirt and pants will keep you cool, protect from sunburns while providing some protection against mosquitoes.
Wear Plain, Light-Colored Fabrics
The best way to keep ticks from getting on your body is by wearing light colored clothing and staying away from dark colors or patterns.
The reason why ticks choose dark colors and patterns is because these surfaces make it harder for you (the wearer) to see them when they hitch a ride on your clothes.
Do The Tuck-In Trick
Camping is a great way to get outside and enjoy nature, but it can also be dangerous if you aren’t careful. Ticks love migrating down clothing in search of skin.
If possible try tucking your trousers into socks or shoes while out on the trail as this will help protect against pesky insects feasting on your body.
If you can, wear a button up shirt all the way up and pop your collar so it covers as much skin around there. The more covered you are, the less likely that nasty animal will get you.
Use Tick Repellent Spray
The next time you go for a walk in the woods or campings, consider packing some tick repellent spray or lotion. It might just save your life. These sprays and repellent work well, but they’re not perfect.
Consider Tick Repellent Clothing
For those who live or work in areas where ticks are common, repellent clothing can be a lifesaver. Ticks carry diseases that could affect you and your family so it’s important to protect yourself from these pests as much possible with proper clothing treated with tick repellent chemicals to keep them safe from pesky parasites. This may not always work perfectly but this will at least keep insects away while out exploring nature.
Don’t Forget To Scrub Up
It’s tempting to collapse on your couch and doze off with air conditioning after a long day of camping. But before you do anything else, wash all the clothing in hot water even bedding. It may sound tedious but it will make sure that any dirt or bacteria are removed from each item.
I also recommend running dishes through dishwasher then wiping larger items such as cookware using soap alongside some disinfectant spray for good measure too.
Ticks love to hide in dark, moist places like the bottom of your cooler or sleeping bag. Ticks love to hang out in your gear before making an appearance on their favorite victims at midnight. Make sure you keep them away by cleaning up any leaves or other debris that might be hiding at the bottom of your bag, and don’t forget about keeping things tidy outside too.
How To Check For Ticks
If you find yourself in an area where ticks are common, it’s best to be checked periodically for signs of attachment. This can’t just mean a quick once over while taking shower the little monsters will happily attach themselves any part on your body. The most likely spots include scalp and ear crevices. There are even situations where these things crawl in between your legs.
Giving yourself a thorough scrub and soapy bath is the perfect way to ensure that your skin stays clean, happy-smelling fresh for camp.
If you’re camping in an area without spacious showers or comfort stations, use a small clean towel to give yourself an inspection. Rub your limbs thoroughly from head toes for dirt and ticks that may have bitten onto them while hiking before setting out on the trail again.
What To Do If You Find A Tick
- Taking pictures is a great way to document your visit so that you can refer back and forth with the doctor.
- The act of removing a tick from your skin can be quite unpleasant, especially if you are not used to doing it. When handling this situation, try not to make direct contact with the insect by grabbing on too tight or pulling away suddenly. We recommend using tweezers carefully since holding onto the skin to pop tick simply isn’t possible and can injure many people.
- Cleaning the area is crucial to ensure that no germs or bacteria get onto your skin. You can use soap, but make sure you clean it well and apply antiseptic cream afterwards in order to prevent infections from spreading around.
- If you notice any change in your health a few weeks after receiving the bite, it is important to contact your doctor. This includes feeling unwell, having fevers or breakouts along with other symptoms like nausea, stomach pain, vomiting or diarrhea.
- It’s a moment of celebration. You just took down that pesky little vampie without even feeling his teeth or claws on your skin. Now pour yourself some stiff alcohol so you can celebrate in style, and maybe get rid of those shivers running up from deep inside too.