Tick season is here again, as much as we hate to say it. And you, as a cabin owner out in the wilderness–as much as you hate to–will probably have to share your yard with these blood-sucking pests.
The best thing to do to protect your pets and loved ones is to learn.
It’s an unfortunate truth of wilderness living: you’re gonna have to share the world with these little guys. The best thing to do to protect your pets and loved ones is to learn the best ways to avoid them, deal with them, and watch for any warning signs of an infected bite.
Ticks, if you’ve been lucky enough to avoid them, are parasitic arachnids that feed on blood. They tend to like grassy or wooded areas, especially near sources of moisture. There are many different species of tick, but all of them tend to hide in tall grass, thick bushes, or leaf litter. This means yard work! If you’ve let the yard of your cabin go this spring, it might be a good idea to clean it up– especially the places you spend time with children or animals.
If this sounds like your cabin, be sure to follow the CDC’s guidelines to make tick-free zones. Clean up leaf litter, mow the grass frequently, and make sure you keep your property free of old furniture or trash where ticks can hide. If you feel like you have a particular issue with ticks, you may want to take the extra steps of clearing underbrush around your property, and creating a 3’-wide tick-barrier of gravel, rocks, or wood chips to help prevent ticks from making it into your yard in the first place.
Be sure to do tick checks any time you spend a while in the wilds.
Make sure to check your pets and loved ones in any place that may seem like a good hiding spot for a tick– in and around your ears, in the arm-pits, and in the hair are all places you want to check. Leave no stone unturned, though! Ticks are wily, and good at hiding.
If you do find yourself with a tick, don’t panic! The best way to remove them–no matter what your grandma told you–is to use a good pair of tweezers to grasp the body of the tick as closely to the skin as possible, and pull evenly. Make sure you don’t leave any of the tick’s head in the bite, as leaving bits of the tick behind can cause infection. Avoid any remedy that calls for letting the tick pull itself out on its own time, like covering it with Vaseline or using heat.
After you’re bitten by a tick, keep an eye on the bite area. The infection rates of Lyme disease and other bacterial infections are relatively low, but are still prevalent enough to be a serious issue. Look for symptoms such as a rash where the bite was, a fever, or flu-like symptoms. If any of these occur, don’t wait! Visit your healthcare provider ASAP– they’ll know more than we do (we’re a blog, not a doctor!)
Overall, remember that your cabin is in the wilderness. It comes with a set of rules and challenges that are different than city-living, including having to deal with ticks. TruLog wants your home away from home to feel like just that– so check back for more information on wilderness living!