Tick bulletin for October

By Samantha Murray

tickcheck_2It’s officially not summer any longer! No more drenching work-related sweating, risk of dehydration, and having to apply sunblock…and no more ticks and mosquitoes biting either, right? It’s true–summertime is the “tickiest” time of the year, especially in the eastern United States. But just because you haven’t seen many (or any) ticks lately, doesn’t mean that your risk for catching Lyme disease or some other nasty tick-transmitted germ is over for the year. In fact, it’s just about to ramp up a few notches.

It may surprise you to learn that by not knowing that October and November are the months of peak adult blacklegged (deer) tick activity, you likely have let down your guard against ticks, and may have stopped any TickSmart habits that you were practicing in the summer. That puts you at a much greater risk for Lyme disease.

Here are 4 more ways that you might be putting yourself at risk for Lyme this autumn:

NOT TUCKING YOUR SHIRT IN…by not tucking your shirt in, you’re just inviting the adult stage deer tick that latched on about knee-level to crawl right up under your shirt. Once under there, it will continue to crawl up until its movement is restricted by your shirt…maybe mid-back, chest, underarms, shoulder, collar. Or bra, if you’re wearing one. Those are all likely places where the tick will stop AND BITE!

GOING TO BED WITHOUT DOING A QUICK TICK-CHECK…whether raking leaves or on a fall hike, ticks are out there ready to latch on. And not remembering to do a quick tick-check, especially above the waist, before heading to bed could mean that an attached tick will be feeding on you all night long—stealing your blood and increasing the chance that it passes on any germ it might be carrying.

serestoFORGETTING TO USE TICK MEDS ON YOUR PETS…Pets encounter ticks much more frequently than people, and are 10 times more likely to get Lyme disease. That’s why not protecting your pet from ticks with a quick tick-knockdown product puts you at greater risk of encountering loose and wandering ticks hitching a ride on your pet.

NOT WEARING TICK REPELLENT PANTS…Adult stage ticks latch on about knee-high. By not wearing tick repellent pants while on the job, or anytime you’re in tick habitat, you’re giving ticks free and easy access to what they want—your blood.

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