Many species of ticks can attach to humans in either the nymph or adult stages of life. Small nymphs such as the deer tick (black-legged tick) can be be particularly hard to spot because of their very small size (about the size of a poppy seed) and are often encountered by humans in this "seed tick" stage of life.
Pet Treatment for Ticks
Often, pets carry fleas and ticks tnto yards. Check pets for fleas and ticks if they have been in an infested area. Flea combs are available for flea removal. Remember to remove ticks with tweezers. If tweezers are not available, protect fingers with tissues or a cloth. Dips, powders, and shampoos are available for fleas and ticks. Do not bathe or dip your pet in household sinks or tubs. Use a tub outside and do not pour the leftover solution down house drains or storm drains.
Don't forget the pet bedding. Dog houses, pet baskets, or blankets are great hiding places for fleas and ticks. The bedding should be washed, if possible, in the washing machine. Dog houses can be treated if the insecticide label lists them.
Yard Treatment for Ticks
Fleas and ticks are normally NOT found where grass is short or in areas of full sun. Grass should be mowed frequently. Trash and plant debris like leaves and wood or stone piles should be removed to eliminate other breeeding areas. Remmember, it is NOT necessary to treat sunny spots in the yard.
Conventional insecticides for outdoor use are available. Follow label directions. Do not use more than recommended. During hot and dry weather, the lawn should be watered before insecticide application. Follow-up treatments may be necessary throught the season
Make sure there are no fleas and ticks in the house. Use only insecticides listed for indoor use. Observe the waiting period, if the lable lists one, before entering the home after a pesticide application.
General Tips for Tick Prevention:
National Park Service
for Avoiding Tick Bites:
When in tick habitat (grassy, brushy, or woodland areas), several precautions can minimize your chances of being bitten by a tick:
Tuck your pant legs into your socks. Tuck your shirt into your pants. Ticks grab onto feet and legs and then climb up. This precaution will keep them on the outside of your clothes, where they can be spotted and picked off.
Wear light colored clothing. Dark ticks can most easily be spotted against a light background.
Inspect your clothes for ticks often while in tick habitat. Have a companion inspect your back.
Wear repellents, applied according to label instructions. Application to shoes, socks, cuffs and pant legs are most effective against ticks.
Inspect your head and body thoroughly when you get in from the field. Have a companion check your back, or use a mirror.
When working in tick habitat on a regular basis, do not wear work clothing home. This will reduce the chances of bringing ticks home and exposing family members.
Webmaster's note: I've been on a narrow deer trail in the Witchita Mountains in southeastern Oklahoma where we had to do "tick checks" every 50 yards up the trail because of the massive number of seed ticks on the vegitation along the trail, and even then we found 10-20 ticks on each member of the hike at each of the stops.
Avoid game trails, if possible, where it is impossible to avoid brushing overhanging and side vegetation. If you must follow a narrow game trail, check for ticks OFTEN, particularly during summer months.
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