Imagine that after the best hike of your life you arrive home to find that a bug has latched onto you and burrowed its head deep into your body.
You start to feel stiff, a headache comes on, a rash starts developing and you might also experience nausea and muscle pain. This isn’t just any bug — you’ve been bitten by a tick.
Ticks are dangerous and can easily go unseen due to their small, almost imperceptible bites. They carry various diseases and can cause serious health issues if left unchecked for long. April to September is the worst times for ticks, especially in heavily wooded areas, so now is a prime time to refresh your knowledge of these sneaky insects.
find a hiding tick is to bathe or shower immediately after your hike or trip. Because ticks are small, they can easily crawl down shirts, pants, socks and so on in search of a secluded dark space to call home. Don’t be shy about using a mirror to check everywhere possible. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean a tick isn’t there.
Don’t forget about your gear. It is common for ticks to fall in or on tents, backpacks or other items, and then crawl out in a car or trailer and latch onto you later. Check your gear as soon as possible, and wash it thoroughly. If you brought a pet with you, check your pet for ticks as well. Ticks love to hide in human and animal hair and are easy to miss on quick examination.
One last tip for killing ticks is to wash your gear in hot water, and tumble dry on the high heat setting.
What to do if you have been bitten
If you find a tick that has latched on, do not panic. Most ticks, when found promptly, are not a great risk and are you need to see a doctor right away. Ticks carry a host of diseases, like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, so the earlier a tick is discovered and removed, the better.