NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Cases of humans contracting Lyme disease from tick bites is on the rise, and so are a number of other diseases ticks carry.
Experts say global warming has led to an explosion in the tick population so, it’s important to conduct a top-to-bottom tick check after spending time outdoors in the warmer weather. It’s not surprising these days to find one on you after hiking, camping, golf, or gardening. If you do notice one, don’t panic. It takes 24 to 48 hours for a tick to transmit Lyme, but you should pull gently to remove them immediately.
“Don’t burn the ticks off, don’t bury them under fingernail polish, and don’t squeeze them.
Try to take a tweezers and get close to the skin as you can, so you get close to where the little snout is and you remove them,” Dr. Alan Taege of the Cleveland Clinic, tells Dr. Max Gomez.
It’s also important to look out for symptoms after discovering a tick.
“You watch for fever, achieness or a rash. And for the Lyme infection it is typically called the bulls-eye, or the target rash, where it’s a circular rash and it isn’t usually a small thing,” Taege explains.
As with all diseases, prevention is a better alternative to treatment. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and tuck them into your boots to keep the ticks from crawling onto your skin. Of course, use insect repellent.
While DEET is the only ingredient that’s been proven effective, Dr. Taege says there’s a another way to get an extra layer of protection, “You can spray your clothing and some of your camping gear with another chemical compound called permethrin, which is not designed for the skin but can be put on clothing and fabric and such to help repel the ticks.”
Permethrin doesn’t just repel ticks and other biting insects, it actually kills them. Better yet, its effects are said to last through multiple washings.