We talked to Dan Wolff - The Tick Man and creator of TickEase - to learn more about what makes ticks “tick"!
We want everyone to understand that the best thing you can do to protect yourself is prevention and education.
DISCLAIMER! We are talking strictly about DEER TICKS in this piece. Those little arachnids hold a lot more danger and behave a lot differently than your average tick.
In this post, you will learn about:
- The behavior of deer ticks
- How to prevent tick bites
- What to do if you get a tick bite
Behavior of Ticks
They love thick brush → Ticks will wait in thick brush with front pair of legs outstretched, their little paws are sticky like velcro, so they will be ready to latch on.
They do not like dry low humidity → Deers ticks will tend to stay in the grasses and leave as moisture increases.
The younger the tick, the lower they will wait → Some of the the youngest ticks will be barely off the ground, so it is not just the high brush you have to worry about.
The older the higher they will wait → Still worry about the high brush because that is where the more experienced ticks may be waiting for you
If you can’t already tell, deer ticks are waiters or “questers”→ It is in their nature to wait for dinner, a deer tick can go up to 8 months without a blood meal!
Make sure your Fashion is Tick Free
Tuck your Pants → Not everyone will understand your fashion statement, but we will! Don’t forget to tuck your pants into your socks!
Permethrin clothing is the best → Ticks will fall off and die when they come in direct contact with this special fabric coated with this pesticide
Check Check Check!
Get Naked! → Just strip down and give yourself a solid look.
Check more than once → Deer ticks are so small you may miss one the first time around.
Don’t neglect your crevices! Make sure to check all your private areas (ticks love them!)
Don’t be afraid to ask for help → Have someone check for ticks on you. A true friend will look for a tick.
If you do get a bite:
Do not Traumatize the Tick! → Any poison, suffocation, or heat will traumatize the tick. Just like in humans, when a tick experiences poison, suffocation or intense heat, the body will know that death might be coming. The reaction of the tick as it starts to die will be to regurgitate its’ innards back into the host. The innards is where that bacteria for Lyme resides, and you want to avoid that as best you can.
Do not Agitate the Tick! → Squeezing the tick will squeeze the innards right back into your body. Flat tip tweezers cause a bigger risk for squashing the tick, so try to stay away from those when you are extracting.
The Finer the Tip the Better → Using a fine tip and then lifting straight up will avoid the most damage. TickEase provides that fine point and helps you pull straight up. Once you have the body out, there is no further risk of infection, so don’t worry if you left the mouthparts behind.
Save your Ticks!
Get out that Plastic Baggie → If you do get bitten by a tick, save it and send it for
testing. Go to tickease.com and select “Tick Testing” to find more information on sending your tick in for testing
Research → Not only will you know if the tick is infected with Lyme, but it can help those researcher studying the bacteria.