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Published on April 17th, 2013 | by ronnie

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Time to Explore, But How to Avoid Pests?

The weather is starting to warm up and it’s time to get out and enjoy nature be it at a picnic, on a hike, or on a walk. You know what to bring with you and where you want to go, but what else should you know?

Know what to watch out for in the wild! Ticks are probably one of the smallest, most annoying pests. These little critters are everywhere just waiting for a new person or animal to latch onto.

Three of the most common ticks to be wary of are the deer tick (mid-western and eastern U.S.), the lone star tick (eastern half of the U.S. south of New York), and the wood tick (east of the Rocky Mountains and occasionally in western states).

Knowing the species still will not stop them from latching on for a good meal. What you need to know is how to get them off of you as soon as possible. Below are a few handy tips from Wild Chicago: Animals, Reptiles, Insects, and Plants to Watch out for at Home, at the Park, and in the Woods by F. Lynne Bachleda, due out in about a month.

Tips & tricks to safely remove ticks:

  • Grab the tick just behind where it is attached to you with fine-point tweezers and pull straight out, slowly and steadily until the tick is dislodged.
  • Do not twist the tick as you remove it.
  • Wash the area where the tick bit you and apply antiseptic.
  • Don’t try to burn the tick with a match! It can actually cause the tick to vomit fluids back into the bite site.
  • Don’t try to crush a tick with your fingers

The University of Chicago Medicine provides a quick summary of how to respond to tick bites as well. In Chicago, there is even a Mosquito Squad that provides preventative methods aimed at all different types of pests including ticks!

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