Tips for Tackling Ticks

One run in with a tick could result in a tickborne illness like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain fever. May through June is prime tick season, but there are some things you can do to lower your chances of acquiring a tickborne illness.

Tips to Avoid Ticks

  • When in wooded areas, wear light-colored clothes and tuck pants inside socks.
  • Avoid areas of high grass and piles of leaves.
  • When hiking, stay in the middle of the trail.

Even when a tick is sucking your blood, you won’t necessarily feel it. Perform a full-body check when you come in from the great outdoors. If you have a tick, remove it as quickly as you can.

How to Remove Ticks
Some people say you should light a match to get the little critter off your skin. Others say coat it with petroleum jelly or some other substance. According to the Harvard Health Blog, however, that might actually make the tick burrow in more and increase your chances of illness.

Here’s what you should do:

  • Using tweezers, grab the tick close to its head.
  • Slowly and steadily pull it straight out. Try not to crush it or leave the head in your skin.
  • Wash thoroughly.
  • Save the tick in a jar for a few weeks. If you show signs of illness, see your doctor and bring the tick.

Symptoms of Tickborne Diseases

  • aches and pains
  • rash
  • chills and fever

Here’s what a tick looks like:










According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 95 percent of Lyme disease cases occur in 12 states. These are Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Sixty percent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever cases occur in North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

Dogs are also very susceptible to tick bites and can transport ticks into your home. Ask your veterinarian about the best way to protect your dog from ticks.

Related Reading
Best Green Ways to Rid Your Yard of Ticks and Mosquitoes
Repel Ticks & Bugs Without DEET
Why Is Lyme Disease Not Just Tick-Borne Anymore?

Photos: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

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Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson2 years ago

my son is very allergic to tick bites. and our yard is full. its a struggle, esp with the warmer winters we have had and such

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra2 years ago

Thank you Ann, for Sharing this!

Sheila D.
GGmaSheila D.2 years ago

Never knew I ws taking ticks off wrong. Thank you for the information.

David V.
David V.2 years ago

most importantly always check your pets for ticks when they return inside.

Virginia Belder
Virginia Belder2 years ago

Thanx alot...

Studying C.
Past Member 2 years ago

Thank you for the good and necessary information.

Holly W.
Holly Windle2 years ago

Remember that they're hard to kill, and don't just fling it off (especially if indoors). We used to drop them in an old vitamin bottle with a bit of rubbing alcohol in it to make sure we put them out of commission. Quite impressive (in a ghastly way) to see how they accumulated during a southern Virginia summer.

tin leng lim
tin leng lim2 years ago

Thank you.

Sheri P.
Sheri P.2 years ago

i hate ticks! i hope i never get another one again. a cousin of mine (who lives in maryland) got lyme disease and it has wreaked havoc on her body. hard to get rid of once you get it.

Lilian U.
Lilian U.2 years ago

Very unpleasant.