Ticks are abundant throughout the year in Florida but certain seasonal changes – such as warm weather in the summer – can increase their activity and the growth of tick populations. Deer ticks – which are most often carried and transmitted by deer, squirrels, mice, and other small rodents – carry Lyme disease, a bacterial illness that affects the skin, joints, heart, and nervous system. Effects can be life-lasting and debilitating for some, and is often difficult to recover from.
Deer Tick Prevention Tips:
Prevention of deer tick bites is your best protection from contracting Lyme disease and is easy with the following tips:
- Wear socks, long pants, and long sleeves when at all possible.
- Check your body for ticks after being outdoors, even in your own yard, using a mirror. Take special care to check the following parts of your and your child’s body for ticks:
- Under the arms
- Behind the ears
- In the scalp
- Inside the belly button
- Back of the knees
- In and around all body hair
- Between the legs
- Around the waist
- Check clothing and pets for ticks and remove them if found
- Keep grass cut short and trim bushes to prevent the growth of tick populations
What to Do if You Get Bit By a Deer Tick?
Ticks must feed for several hours to transmit disease, so fast detection and removal can significantly reduce your risk of tick-borne disease. If you or someone you know thinks they were bitten by a deer tick, visit AFC within the first 48 hrs. of detection for complete tick care, which includes removal (if needed), diagnosis of symptoms, and treatment by a board-certified physician. If you feel strongly about removing the tick yourself, follow these tips:
- Use tweezers to grasp the tick as close to skin as possible
- Remove the entire tick gently in a steady, upward motion
- Clean the wound with clean water and antibacterial soap or disinfectant
- Monitor the site where the tick was removed for signs of infection
- Record the date of detection and the exact time any symptoms appear
Lyme disease can affect people very differently with symptoms incubating for days for some. Ensure your safety by visiting AFC Jacksonville for immediate medical attention. For more information, call us at 904.221.9110 or visit our convenient center at 13457 Atlantic Blvd. Ste 5 in Jacksonville, FL.