The following are some of the most common questions related to insects:
What kind of bugs do I need to watch out for? What’s the difference between mosquitoes and other kinds of flies? How much does it cost to buy insect repellent? Where can I get the best bug spray for my pets? Is there any type of insecticide that kills all types of insects? Can I use natural products like lemon or tea tree oil instead of chemical ones? How long will it take before they die off? What kind of insect bites me? Do I have to wash my hands after touching them? Should I wear gloves when gardening?
We hope these answers help you!
Best Bug Spray For Ticks
Insect repellent is one of the most effective ways to prevent getting bitten by a tick. However, there are certain things you should keep in mind if you’re going to purchase insect repellent. You can find these products in many different places.
If you want to be absolutely sure you’re getting a good one, you should buy from a store that specializes in outdoor activities and/or hunting and fishing supplies.
If you’re not sure where to look, you can always do an online search for it. There are many different kinds of repellents available. Many of them contain DEET.
Of course, these aren’t necessarily the only ones that work well. It’s best to do your research and read reviews. If you’re not sure what to look for, we recommend that you see a doctor or visit a local center for disease control in your area.
What Do Ticks Look Like?
These types of ticks usually have eight legs and are often brown or black in color. They also have little heads. Depending on their age, their bodies can be anywhere from the size of a pinhead to that of a small pea. As for their life cycle, it usually takes three to four days before they’re able to transmit any diseases. If a female tick bites you, it’s going to take her around two days before she lays her eggs. At this point, she’ll detach from your skin and fall off (usually sometime within the next 48 hours).
If you have a pet, such as a cat or a dog, it’s important that you check them regularly for ticks. Most of the time, ticks will attach themselves to your pet and wait until it’s in the right position to grasp on to a part of your body that’s covered by clothing. Of course, it only takes a few minutes for a tick to make its way into your skin and begin sucking your blood.
Once they’ve had their fill, most ticks drop off of you within two or three days. If you begin to experience symptoms of Lyme disease (early symptoms can include fever, chills, headache, and fatigue), it’s important that you see a doctor immediately. If you get treatment right away, there’s a fairly good chance you’ll make a full recovery.
If you ignore the disease and allow it to progress, it can cause many long-term complications.
What Is A Tick?
A tick is a type of arachnid. They have eight legs and are closely related to mites and spiders. There are around 850 different species of ticks. While some can be quite small, most adult ticks have bodies that are more or less visible to the naked eye. Depending on the type of tick, their bodies can be anywhere between a few millimeters in size to several centimeters. Ticks survive by feeding on the blood of their hosts.
In order to feed, ticks use a pair of mouth parts that are shaped like cutting blades. They secrete anesthetic chemicals on their cutting blades to numb your skin (This is why you don’t feel them when they bite you). After they’ve inserted these mouth parts into your skin, they begin to suck your blood out of you.
Many different species of ticks are parasites. This means that they feed off of larger hosts in order to survive. Adult female ticks are the ones that feed on blood.
After they’ve had their fill, they lay hundreds of eggs after molting their previous skin. The eggs then develop into more adult ticks.
Are Ticks Harmless?
No. Ticks can transmit a number of different diseases. Lyme disease is the most common, but there are others that can be potentially life-threatening. Not all ticks carry diseases, but most do.
If you’ve been bitten by a tick and start to experience symptoms such as a rash around the area of the bite, headaches, joint pain, muscle pain, fever, or chills, see a doctor immediately. Untreated Lyme disease can cause many long-term complications.
Ticks are most commonly found in grassy, wooded or wild areas where their hosts (usually small rodents) live. Ticks aren’t very mobile. They tend to stay close to a host and have difficulty climbing.
This means that it’s unlikely for a tick to randomly end up on you. Ticks need to physically come in contact with you in order to latch on and feed on your blood.
How To Identify A Tick
The most important thing to remember is that a tick looks like an oversized spider. Most of them have eight legs and are round in shape. They also have two segmented body parts (a head and a body) that are connected by a thin neck.
Ticks are usually dark in color, but some species have evolved features that help them camouflage themselves from potential hosts.
Here are a few types of ticks and what they look like:
Deer tick: This species is known for carrying Lyme disease. It’s smaller than the average mosquito and has a brown head. The rest of its body is gray or dark in color.
Rocky Mountain wood tick: This tick is mainly found in the Western United States. It’s known to carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. It’s medium-sized and brown in color.
Harvester tick: This tick mainly carries a disease called Human Ehrlichiosis. It’s medium-sized and reddish in color.
Lone Star Tick: This species is known to carry another type of ehrlichiosis. It’s medium-sized and has a white dot on its back (this is where it gets its name from).
Ticks are mainly found in wooded or grassy areas. They often latch onto passing animals that come into contact with them. Ticks don’t have the ability to fly or jump and aren’t very mobile.
This means that they rely on other hosts to transport them from one area to another.
How To Prevent Getting Ticks
The best way to protect yourself from ticks is to prevent them from latching onto you in the first place. When hiking or visiting the woods, wear long pants and long sleeved shirts. Make sure that your clothes fit tightly so that ticks don’t have many places to grab onto.
Tick also aren’t great climbers, so wearing a boot helps protect you from ticks climbing up your leg.
Tuck your pants into your socks and use insect repellent on the exposed skin of your arms and legs. Once you’ve returned from your trip into the wilderness, take a shower as soon as possible. This helps wash off any ticks that may have latched on while you were hiking.
How To Remove A Tick
If you do find a tick latched onto your skin it’s important to remove it as soon as possible. This is best done by grasping the tick as close to your skin as possible and slowly pulling upwards. Don’t twist or jerk the tick as this can cause it to break in half, leading to possible disease transmission.
Also, you should never use fire, petroleum jelly or other such home remedies. These can all damage the tick and may also cause disease transmission.
Once you’ve removed the tick, thoroughly clean the area with soap and water. Also, any clothes that may have come in contact with the tick should be washed immediately. It’s important to monitor the area for any signs of infection (itching, irritation) over the next few weeks and see a doctor if necessary.
When To See A Doctor
It’s important to see a doctor if you develop any signs of infection or illness within a few weeks of a tick bite. This is especially true if you’ve recently been exposed to a known tick-borne disease. A doctor will examine the site of the bite and possibly test you for any diseases.
Treating Tick Bites At Home
If you have removed a tick and you don’t believe that you have any symptoms of infection or disease, you can take some preventative steps to avoid getting sick. First, thoroughly clean and disinfect the bite area with an antibacterial wipe or solution.
Next, take an over-the-counter antibiotic, like Augmentin or Amoxicillin, to reduce your chances of getting sick. You’ll need to take the antibiotic for a week. Last, try to avoid scratching the bite area as this may lead to a bacterial infection that could turn into something worse.
Protecting Yourself From Ticks
No one likes ticks! They’re icky and gross. They cause infections and diseases that can make you sick.
If you spend any time in a wooded or grassy area, it’s important to take steps to avoid getting bitten by these parasites.
Fortunately, it’s easy to protect yourself from ticks. When heading into wooded areas, wear long pants, long socks and tall boots. Tuck your pants into your socks and button your shirt all the way up to the top to keep ticks from crawling inside your clothing.
Sources & references used in this article:
Comparative efficacy of insect repellents against mosquito bites by MS Fradin, JF Day – New England Journal of Medicine, 2002 – Mass Medical Soc
Insect repellents: an overview by M Brown, AA Hebert – Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 1997 – Elsevier
Toxic encephalopathy in a child after brief exposure to insect repellents. by EH Roland, JE Jan, JM Rigg – Canadian Medical Association …, 1985 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Insect repellents: principles, methods, and uses by M Debboun, SP Frances, D Strickman – 2006 – books.google.com
Insect repellents handbook by M Debboun, SP Frances, D Strickman – 2014 – books.google.com
Chemical and plant-based insect repellents: efficacy, safety, and toxicity by JH Diaz – Wilderness & environmental medicine, 2016 – Elsevier
Plant-based insect repellents by SJ Moore, A Lenglet, N Hill – Insect repellents: principles methods …, 2006 – books.google.com
The insect repellents: A silent environmental chemical toxicant to the health by DN Roy, R Goswami, A Pal – Environmental toxicology and pharmacology, 2017 – Elsevier
Puleganic acid insect repellents by M Scialdone – US Patent App. 11/540,438, 2007 – Google Patents