It’s Spring, and it’s Arkansas, so that means Ticks! They are waking up, and looking for food (if you weren’t sure – humans are in the category of food for ticks). In Arkansas, ticks are responsible for more human disease than any other insect. And we’ve got lots of types of ticks: American Dog ticks, Blacklegged ticks, Brown Dog ticks, Gulf Coast ticks, and Lone Star ticks…to name just a few. Some of them can carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, Tularemia, Anaplasmosis, Lyme Disease, Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness, and Alpha-Gal. These diseases can cause symptoms such as fever, joint pains, fatigue, or rashes. It’s important to note that all ticks do not carry disease, and every tick bite will not result in illness. But, the longer a tick is on, the more likely it is to transmit infection if it is carrying a disease.
So, what can you do to prevent Tickborne illnesses?
Avoid tall grass or dense vegetation.
Tuck your pants into tall socks or boots.
Use insect repellants
Dress in light colored clothing. Ticks have a sense of style, apparently.
Check yourself (and the kids too) after being outdoors, and remove any ticks you find
Bathe or shower within 2 hours after being outdoors in tick habitats to wash off any wandering ticks.
And if you find a tick – how to remove it? There are many old wives tales circulating, but the best way to remove a tick is with clean, fine-tipped tweezers. Grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible, and pull upward with a steady, even pressure. If any mouth parts are left, remove them with tweezers. After removal, clean the area with alcohol, soap and water or iodine.
If you develop a rash, fever, or other symptoms in the weeks following a tick bite, come see us! Early detection and treatment can help prevent long term complications from these Tickborne Illnesses. We can check it out and get you treated if necessary.