JOPLIN, Mo. — If you’re out in nature in these hot temperatures, you might have the upper hand when it comes to avoiding ticks. They’re not enjoying it anymore than we are.
“Checking, checking, checking. You cannot check enough for ticks,” said Maddie Jackson, Wildcat Glades Nature Group, Naturalist.
According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, ticks are less likely to find a host during these scorching temperatures. And with that, people are less likely to be spending an extensive amount of time in Mother Nature. But if you’ve recently found an alarming number of ticks on you, there’s a reason why.
“As they mature, you’re going to get a lot of ticks all at one time. And a lot of people will get into what we call seed ticks, which are often baby or teenage ticks. And because they’re so small, they get covered in a huge number of them,” said Jessie Ballard, MDC Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center, Naturalist.
Ballard says though – this is no reason to avoid the outdoors. There are simple preventative ways to deter these critters.
“The best way to avoid ticks is going to be to stay on the trail systems. So, avoiding getting out into that taller brush area. You can also wear long pants and long socks. And, you know, it is really hot, but long sleeves are the best way,” said Jackson.
And she says to wear light-colored clothes so you can easily spot ticks. You may have heard of some home remedies, but Ballard says if you have any tick bite concerns, go seek medical attention.
“There are lots of myths when it comes to ticks. We’ve heard things like burning them off with a lighter. Spraying them with a variety of different things from alcohol to others. If you do anything like that, basically what the tick will do – and some people have seen results where the tick will de-attach – but, they have vomited everything that they had in their body, into your body. And that’s something you want to avoid at all costs,” said Ballard.
It’s recommended to use tweezers to gently pull the entire tick out in a slow motion. Once it’s removed, put it in a plastic sealed bag or on a piece of tape to keep it contained. Ballard and Jackson both stress: don’t let the ticks deter you from spending time outside.