As spring turns into summer, the threat of tick bites gets more and more common. The abundance of tall grass, combined with the natural lifecycle of the tick, causes the warmer months to time that bites are the most frequent. Due to this year's mild winter, the tick population is especially large. As outdoorsmen, we often wade or walk through tall vegetation and dense brush, where ticks latch to wait for unsuspecting victims, making us particularly at risk for bites. Not only are rashes and itching from tick bites annoying, but some ticks are carriers of diseases, some life threatening. So what can you do to avoid ticks?
Above: The specialized anatomy of a tick. wikipedia.org
The thing to do is to avoid dense vegetation. This especially applies to bank fishermen. No matter how good a spot looks, it's not worth potentially putting your life on the line. Avoid meadows, bushes, and hedgerows. By avoiding these areas, you are eliminating the bulk of all potential bites.
However, if you must go through areas of dense brush, wear long sleeves and pants made of thick fabric, such as quality cargo pants. After each trip, inspect your clothing for ticks. You also can apply tick repellents to your clothes and skin.
To remove a tick, first use fine tweezers to grasp the tick near the head, and pull it off steadily. After removing the tick, wash your hands and the bitten area with cleaning alcohol and water. Apply antiseptic to the area. If any unusually rashes appear, or a red "bull-eye" mark, notify a doctor immediately.
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