Dealing with ticks – an expert’s advice

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By Russ and Tiña De Maris

If your travels take you to tick country, be on the lookout for these biting and often disease-carrying insects. Here are the latest “tick tips” from Amanda Roome, an expert in ticks with Binghamton University.

Find ticks on your clothing? Put your clothing in the dryer on high for at least 30 minutes. Ticks need moisture to survive, and the dryer will kill them (just a washing machine may not).

After a trip through nature, it’s a good idea to check for ticks that may have latched on. Take a long, hot shower, which will hopefully wash off any ticks that may be crawling around on you. If any ticks are embedded, you will want to remove them as quickly as possible. Look for them when you’re in the shower. Ticks like dark, moist areas, so be sure to check in armpits, behind your knees, the groin area, and in your hair.

After your shower, use a mirror and check your back or areas you can’t see well. If a tick has bitten you, grab a pair of tweezers, get as close to the skin as you can, grasp the tick firmly and pull it out. If it has been attached for a while, it may be difficult to pull out (deer ticks secrete a glue-like enzyme, which “cements” it to the host). If you detach the head from the body, that is okay.

Can’t get the tick out? Don’t worry. Treat it like you would any other small wound — put some peroxide or rubbing alcohol on it and leave it be. Other methods (e.g., Vaseline, using a match, etc.) are not recommended because these may just agitate the tick, causing it to burrow a little deeper, or worse, cause it to regurgitate (which may transmit any pathogens it may be carrying into you!). If you do remove the tick, be sure to keep it. Just because you are bitten does not mean you have been infected. Put the tick in a zip-lock bag with some rubbing alcohol.


Remove ticks easily from people or pets!
It’s tick season! This Tick Twister Remover Set will remove ticks, large and small, without squeezing them, reducing the risk of infection. It does not leave the mouthparts of the tick in the skin. It’s the safest and easiest way to remove ticks and in just a few seconds. Helps prevent Lyme Disease. Keep one of these in your RV. Learn more or order.


Take the tick — and yourself — to the doctor. They will be able to identify the species (only the deer tick carries Lyme in the Northeast, but other ticks can carry other diseases, and the deer tick can carry more than just Lyme). Your doctor may choose to send the tick out for testing. Your doctor will not test you for Lyme right after a tick bite. Your body’s immune system will take a few weeks to mount a response to the pathogen (if one was transmitted), and antibodies are not detectable right after a bite.

Listen to your doctor. If they choose to get the tick tested, they may treat you if it comes back positive, or they may test you for Lyme (or another tick-borne disease) after your immune system has had enough time to mount a response and the antibodies are at detectable levels. Keep an eye out for potential symptoms of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, and consult your physician if you notice any of the symptoms.

##RVT799 ##RVDT1337

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Sharon B
4 months ago

I hate ticks more than anything. Went to see a friend in NE Missouri on a farm. Took a walk and came back with a zillion ticks on me. I HATE ticks. We were sitting at a picnic table under a tree and those little bast—s were dropping on us from the branches!! OMG…
Haha, got back with a vengeance and put them in a bottle full of alcohol to let them suffer. I hate ticks.
When in home health I used to give this lady IV therapy for months. She had Lyme disease and has had it for several years. A nightmare. Yes! I hate ticks. Disease laden worthless creatures!!

Montgomery Bonner
4 months ago

And why I ask cannot medical science make a pill of something other than sprays which we have to renew all the time to give us the same 30-90 days protection we give dogs and cats. Give me a break, lets make sure “it’s all about the money”, because there is money in the treatment, for doctors, drug companies, etc. I have always said, we treat our animals better than we treat humans.

tom
4 months ago

Watch out for the “Lone Star Tick.” Very small, with a black body and a white spot on it’s back. If one gets a bite in you, you may develop alpha gal, it interrupts your body in many ways. Worst one for us is an allergy reaction to eating protein sourced from animals with hooves. Becomes a poultry and seafood diet. Anything related to the cabbage family are also a no no.
We know, because we are living with it. No more bacon!

Sink Jaxon
4 months ago
Reply to  tom

WOW never heard of such an affliction! I just read up on it.
https://alphagalinformation.org/what-is-ags/
A lot of new and strange diseases developing in our world. Not good.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
4 months ago
Reply to  tom

Thanks for the info, Tom. For those who want to know more about alpha-gal syndrome, read this: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alpha-gal-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20428608 😯 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Karen Willis
4 months ago
Reply to  tom

Thankfully, I do not have this (LOVE bacon and tomato sandwiches), but 2 in my family have it and a few others that I know. It’s awful! This is in north central Missouri.

Donald N Wright
4 months ago

thank you

Robbie
3 years ago

A drop of dawn dishwashing liquid will make them back out.