What You Need to Know About Ticks if You Spend Time Outdoors

We have often used trail running as an effective way to reduce stress, especially minor stressors, and keep the side effects of our hectic lives to a minimum. With the warmer weather, some unwanted guests can also make an appearance, ticks.

While other insects can be annoying and a nuisance, ticks really need to be avoided due to the serious health issues that one of their bites can cause. And, if you are like me and bring your dog along for the run, you will also need to protect them as well.

Even if you are not venturing out into the deep forest on a regular basis, any time that you are in an area with tall grass, you should protect yourself.

Lyme Disease Can Cause Health Complications for Years and Even Decades

Ticks are currently making the news due to the recent outbreak that is causing people to develop an allergy to red meat. Yes, this new development is concerning, but Lyme Disease continues to be the most disruptive effect of a tick bite. 

If you have visited a wooded or grassy area and notice a target-shaped bite on your body, it is likely the result of a tick bite. Even if you feel fine after being bit, it is advisable to seek medical attention to make sure that the tick has not entered your body, and you will also want to get tested for Lyme Disease.

Some people also report that they have contracted Lyme Disease even in instances where they do not notice a tick bite. Because of the detrimental effects that this incurable disease can have on your life and overall health, we recommend that you take some precautions before venturing outdoors this summer.

And remember, your furry friend will also need protection too. Even if you are already giving them monthly flea and tick treatment, it is a good idea to put some anti-tick spray or cream on them before you head out for your hike or trail run.

Follow These Tips to Keep Yourself and Your Furry Friend Protected

As mentioned above, always apply some type of supplemental anti-tick medication to your dog’s coat before you head outdoors. If your dog is going to be swimming or is the type that rolls around a lot, you may want to bring some extra spray with you so that you can reapply and keep them protected. 

Remember to avoid any areas that have a known tick infestation, as the risk is just not worth it. If your regular spot keeps coming up as a place that has a lot of ticks, it is worth the time and trouble to find somewhere new to go. When you are out in the great outdoors, adhere to these simple tips to help you minimize your chances of suffering from a tick bite:

  • Wear long sleeves and pants – try to keep your entire body covered, even if it is warm, you can opt for loose and light fabrics. Be sure to remember to protect your ankles and legs as this is an area of the body that is susceptible to tick bites.
  • Do not wade into areas of tall grass or those that are heavily vegetated with a lot of space for ticks to hide.
  • If you are bitten by a tick, seek medical attention right away, even if you feel fine.
  • Apply a supplemental tick spray or cream to your pet’s coat and bring some extra if you are going to be out for an extended period of time or if your dog is going swimming or will be in the water.
  • If you hear about ticks being in a certain area, avoid it, even if it is a favorite hiking spot.

Summer is the perfect time of the year to get out there and enjoy the outdoors, but ticks are no joke. Follow these guidelines to keep yourself protected and you will be able to enjoy hiking, trail runs, and other outdoor pursuits for many years to come!

What to Do If You Think You’ve Been Bitten by a Tick

If you notice a bullseye or target-shaped bite anywhere on your body, you should get medical care right away. It is imperative that a doctor checks to make sure that the tick has not gotten underneath your skin. 

Once it is clear that the tick is no longer on your body, you can be tested for Lyme Disease and other conditions that are known to be communicated via tick bites. Receiving a prompt diagnosis for Lyme Disease can make a significant difference in the effectiveness of treatment. 

When you are given a course of antibiotics right away, your Lyme Disease can be forestalled before it develops into the debilitating disease that affects hundreds of thousands of Americans.

This summer, enjoy the outdoors, but be sure to play it safe when it comes to ticks!