Tick season runs from the beginning of spring through the beginning of fall, as ticks thrive in hot weather and places with high levels of moisture. While there are several thousand types of tick, there are four main species in New Jersey that transmit disease through biting people. There are several actions you can take prior to going outdoors to prevent tick bites and complications.
Preparing for the Outdoors
Tick bite prevention begins before you make your way outside. You will need to make sure you are wearing the correct protective gear, including:
- Long sleeves
- Pants with the legs tucked into your socks
- Closed-toe sneakers or boots treated with permethrin
- Light, plain colors
- Insect repellant or bug spray containing DEET
Make sure each member of your group is prepared with the same types of clothing. Light colored clothing will make ticks easier to detect, allowing for faster removal.
After Returning Indoors
As soon as you return inside after spending time in grassy or wooded areas, it is critical to perform a tick check. Go over your body and your clothing to check for ticks or anything that appears unusual. It is important to remember that ticks are small and can easily blend in, looking like just another freckle. After your check, you should shower to wash away a tick that may have gone undetected. You should also take your clothing and put them in the dryer on the highest heat and tumble settings to kill any ticks that are still present. Finally, check your pets. A tick that landed on your dog during a walk could easily move onto you or another member of your family.
When You Should Seek Treatment
As soon as you find a tick, you should remove it from your person using rubbing alcohol and pointy tweezers. You should get the tweezers as close to your skin and the head of the tick as possible, removing it in smooth motion rather than twisting it. If you begin to notice a rash forming around the bite area or feel sluggish or feverish, you should seek treatment immediately at your local urgent care center. Using our on-site laboratory, we will be able to run tests and provide efficient results to determine your ailment as well as how to treat it.