While tick bites are possible all year, they are more active during the spring and summer, into early fall. This year, more ticks have been reported and sent for testing, and more ticks are testing positive for an infection that can cause Lyme disease. The Lone Star tick, which can cause an allergy to red meat among other infections, has been found in South Norwalk, as the species moves inland. Make sure you avoid being bitten by following these tips this summer!
Preparing to Go Outside
There are several precautions you should take before going outdoors in order to prevent tick bites. Ticks are often found in wooded, grassy areas and catching a ride on animals. Make sure you are protected by wearing long pants and sleeves, as well as repellent registered with the EPA. Your clothing should contain at least 0.5% permethrin, a chemical that can be used on clothing, camping gear and hiking boots that acts as an insecticide. You can apply permethrin on items yourself, or buy gear already treated with it. Even if you are just going outside to perform yardwork or walk your dog, it is important to keep yourself covered up. If your children are going outside to play, make sure they are wearing proper insect repellent, following manufacturer’s instructions. Bug spray and insect repellent should not be used on infants younger than two months old, and certain products should not be used on children under the age of three. When outside, avoid areas with tall grass and try to stick closer to the center of trails in wooded areas.
After Returning Indoors
Upon coming inside, it is important to check your clothing for ticks, which may latch on to your clothes and be carried into your home. If you find a tick, extract it and place it in a container for testing. You can kill ticks on your clothing by putting the clothes in your dryer on the highest heat setting for 10 minutes, though you may require more time for damp or wet clothes. If you wash your clothing, make sure you use hot water. Cold or warm water will not be enough to kill ticks. While checking your clothing, check your pets and any outdoor gear you brought with you. Before showering, perform a check of your entire body for ticks, including:
- Any skin that was exposed while outdoors
- Around your ears
- Behind your knees
- Around the belly button
Tick Bite Treatment in Norwalk
If you have been outside and found a tick on yourself or your child, visit AFC Urgent Care Norwalk for immediate tick removal and treatment. Our urgent care center welcomes walk-in patients and is open extended evening and weekend hours for your convenience. For any information about our services, please call 203-845-9100.