The Deep Woods Guide On How To Check For Ticks

tick

Whether you are planning a trip to the woods for a hike or hunting season or spending time in your backyard with your family, the chances of being exposed to ticks increases when you're outdoors. These creatures can live anywhere as long as they have food and water, and to protect yourself and family, you need to know how to check for ticks.

Ticks are one of those creatures that creeps out most people. They are small and gross and suck blood, so they have a lot of strikes against them. They also aren't too particular about what they feed upon, and they can be found on animals and humans alike. Worst of all, they spread some pretty nasty diseases.

What Are Ticks?

Ticks are small creatures that are classified as arachnids, which means that they are in the same family as spiders. They drink blood as their source of food and survival. According to the fossil record, ticks have been around for at least 90 million years, and there are more than 800 species of ticks worldwide.

Appearance

Life Cycle

Behavior

Habitat

Is There A Need to Check For Ticks?

When figuring out how to check for ticks, you may wonder if there's a need for this task. Ticks carry and transmit diseases which can be deadly to humans and other animals. Thus, it is very important to do tick checks and get them off as soon as possible so that you don't risk getting sick.

Not all ticks spread disease, and not all of the diseases will make humans sick. However, since the creatures are so small and identifying them can be difficult, it's best not to take the chance and figure out how to check for ticks and remove them from your body before they have a chance to feed.

Ticks That Transfer Disease

The ticks that are notorious for transferring diseases to humans and animals include the following:

  • Wood ticks, also known as American dog ticks
  • Deer ticks, also called blacklegged ticks
  • Brown dog ticks
  • Western blacklegged ticks
  • Gulf Coast ticks
  • Rocky Mountain wood ticks
  • Lone star ticks

Diseases Transferred By Ticks

These ticks are responsible for transmitting different types of disease to their host. Some of the more common diseases are listed below.

Lyme Disease

This disease can impact both humans and animals. It is a bacterial infection and one of the most common tick-borne diseases that exists. One of the ways to tell if you have Lyme disease is that you will get a tell-tale bulls-eye rash on your body and experience flu-like symptoms. If Lyme disease is left untreated, it can lead to brain and nervous system disorders, joint pain, heart issues, and problems with your memory.

Colorado Tick Fever

This disease is mostly found in the Rocky Mountain states at elevations of 4,000 to 15,000 feet. Symptoms include getting a fever for several days, then feeling fine, then getting a fever for a few more days. For most people, this disease can be mild and easy to overcome.

Heartland Virus

This is a new disease that has just been discovered. It is believed that this is transmitted by lone star ticks, but it has not yet been confirmed.

Red Meat Allergy

In some cases, being bitten by a lone start tick can cause an allergy to red meat. After eating, this may cause you to break out in hives, have an asthma attack, or even experience anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

This disease is common in the Southeast and usually begins with a bad headache and fever. Most people will break out in a rash that begins on their ankles and wrists before spreading to the rest of the body.

This disease is treated with antibiotics, and for the best result, you'll need to start it within 5 days after symptoms show up. If left untreated, this disease becomes life threatening because it damages small blood vessels. This can lead to swelling in the heart, lungs, and brain.

A Deep Woods Guide On How To Check For Ticks

Even though most ticks don't transfer disease, there are a few that do, so knowing how to check for ticks can be beneficial. It's also important to note that you can get ticks while out in natural settings such as the woods or fields, but they also exist in your backyard. Thus, if you spend a lot of time gardening or doing yard work, checking for ticks when you are done is a good idea.

Steps to Take to Check for Ticks

Check Your Clothing

Check Your Body

Take a Shower

Check Your Pets

Conclusion

If you're like most people, you are creeped out by ticks. You certainly don't want them on you or your loved ones, including your pets. Since they can transmit diseases, it's good to know how to check for ticks and get them off your body if you find one on you.

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