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Stay on Guard for Ticks this Summer

Stay on Guard for Ticks this Summer

Why are Ticks so Bad This Year?

Now that you’re enjoying summer, you may have forgotten all about last winter. In many regions of the country, winter was particularly mild. Folks in the Northeast should be particularly concerned, as their winter was mild when compared with historical averages. 

Mild winters make for large tick populations the following spring and summer.

However, even if you live in other parts of the country where ticks aren’t as prevalent, you should still stay on guard. They do exist everywhere, even in dry climates where the elevation is higher.

How do Ticks ‘Operate’?

Ticks love grassy areas and shrubs. They’ll lurk on vegetation, waiting for the scent of carbon dioxide exhaled by passing animals. This scenario can play out in a garden, too. Ticks aren’t confined to the wild areas of your neighborhood. So, while you’re enjoying the health benefits of gardening, make sure to safeguard your skin from tick bites. 

With the explosion in deer population in many parts of the country — especially in the Northeast — there are plenty of ways for ticks to ‘hitchhike’ around and get into your backyard. Ticks can be found under the feathers of birds and in the fur of animals. 

Therefore, any area that’s grassy and/or contains wild animals is a possible tick haven. That’s why it’s always important to stay on guard. 

What’s this ‘Powassan’ Illness They’re Talking About in the News?

Powassan is a virus that can be transmitted by ticks to humans. It can cause long-term neurological problems. Symptoms include fever, headache, seizures, memory loss, and vomiting, says the CDC. 

The CDC also states that there have been 75 cases in the past decade, mostly in the Northeast and in the Great Lakes region. Scientists are predicting a rise in cases this year because of the mild winter, which has resulted in a prevalence of ticks. 

How Does One Prevent Tick Bites?

It may be impossible to keep from getting any ticks on your skin, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get bit. Sometimes they ride along in your clothing or crawl around on your skin but don’t bite until later on. 

That’s why it’s so important to shower and check your skin immediately after being in a tick-prone area. 

More Tips on Avoiding Tick Bites

  1. Avoid wooded areas and places where you may brush up against vegetation.
  2. Walk so as to keep far from the vegetation.  
  3. Wear long sleeves and long pants.
  4. Wear insect repellent.
  5. Shower after coming indoors.
  6. Check your entire body for ticks or have someone help you. Use a mirror if you are on your own.

Enjoying the Great Outdoors at Five Star Senior Living

Here at Five Star Senior Living, we believe spending time in the great outdoors is part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Whether that means gardening, strolling down a pathway, or simply enjoying a picnic on a beautiful day, we offer our residents plenty of options. It’s all part of our Lifestyle360 program that promotes wellness in every category. Call us to learn more!

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