How To Protect Against Parasites and Ticks

Next time you go roaming the great outdoors, be sure to follow these simple tips for keeping tick-borne sicknesses at bay:

Avoid Enemy Territory

Ticks tend to dwell in moist, humid environments like leafy and grassy areas. Piles of leaves, wood or mulch, plant shoots, shrubs and weeds are all potential breeding grounds. Always walk in the center of trails to reduce your chance of coming into contact with ticks. If you have a back yard, consider protecting the lawn from surrounding wooded areas with a border of gravel or wood chips to limit tick migration.

Revolt and Repel

Tick repellents provide a valuable extra layer of protection. Do a little research to determine what kind of product is right for you and your pet and use it! If you’re concerned about the chemicals in most products, there are a number of natural alternatives and other products available.

Stick It to Ticks 

Keep a lint roller in your car to use on your clothes after spending time in wooded areas. That way, you can pick up any unattached ticks before you carry them into the car or house. Depending on your dog’s coat, you can even give him or her a once-over, too. Don’t wait until you get home and ticks have had time to attach.

Get the Right Tools for the Job

If you do happen to carry an attached tick home, skip the tweezers and try using tick removal tools such as the Tick Twister, Tick Stick or Tick Key. Removing these little buggers can be tricky, so using a tool specifically designed to help will make the process as pain-free as possible.

X Marks the Spot

If you do find an attached tick on you or your pet, remove it carefully, wipe the bite with an antiseptic, and (if you’ve been bitten), circle the bite with a permanent marker. This will help you monitor the bite site for any abnormal reactions. If a rounded or “bulls eye” rash, or any other skin irritation develops in the area, report it to your doctor or vet.

Ticks, mosquitoes and other bugs are a fact of life, but they don’t have to keep you and your pets indoors until winter. Take the time to make a few simple preparations to give you a leg up on pesky parasites, and go out and enjoy these final weeks of lingering daylight and evening breezes.

While the discovery of the Heartland virus proves that there is still a lot we don’t know about insect-borne illnesses, it serves as a timely reminder that an ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure.

Heartland Virus Discovered By Local Doctor

A new virus has been discovered in northwest Missouri. Heartland Hospital is releasing what it knows about what it is calling the Heartland virus. Records only show two people contracting the virus, but more research is underway. A Heartland doctor is behind the discovery of a new virus.  It all started in June of 2009, when … Continue reading

Heartland Virus Timeline

The science world is excited over the discovery of a new finding that they stumbled on thanks in part to two Missouri farmers.  While you might expect that the new finding my be related to a new crop method or a new dna, but the new finding is really a new mysterious disease.  The new … Continue reading

How can people reduce the chance of getting infected with Heartland virus?

As news of the new Heartland Virus spreads, many are asking how to reduce the chance of getting infected with Heartland virus.   While it is not yet known how people get infected with Heartland virus, here are a few things you can do to help.  The Heartland Virus is likely passed to people through … Continue reading

Heartland Virus Map

Alabama – Alaska – Arizona – Arkansas – California – Colorado – Connecticut – Delaware – Florida – Georgia – Hawaii – Idaho – Illinois – Indiana – Iowa – Kansas – Kentucky – Louisiana – Maine – Maryland – Massachusetts – Michigan – Minnesota – Mississippi – Missouri – Montana – Nebraska – Nevada … Continue reading

Heartland Virus Mystery Still Continues

For the last several weeks, scientists have been searching the two farms and surrounding farm areas in northwest Missouri to collect thousands of ticks for testing.  They have also contacted hospitals in the area and tested patients.  All this activity is to help scientists learn more about a new virus. The discovery of a new … Continue reading

CDC Recommendations

As with all tick-borne illnesses, the CDC recommends avoiding wooded and bushy areas with high grass and leaves.  The use of repellents with 20 percent or more DEET is also helpful.  Always check your body after coming in from outdoor excursions. Ticks can also be on clothing and pets, so it is important to regularly … Continue reading

Scientist Find New Heartland Virus

The science world is excited over the discovery of a new finding that they stumbled on thanks in part to two Missouri farmers.  While you might expect that the new finding my be related to a new crop method or a new dna, but the new finding is really a new mysterious disease.  The new … Continue reading

New Tick-Borne Illness Reported In Missouri

In a discovery that some researchers are calling exiting, a new tick-borne illness was found responsible for infecting two farmers in Missouri in 2009.  This is according to reports from government researchers. The virus has been dubbed the “Heartland virus” because it was found in America’s heartland area.  The virus was identified by a doctor … Continue reading

Lone Star Ticks Potential Carrier of Heartland Virus

The most common ticks in northwestern Missouri, where the two men were infected with Heartland virus, are lone star ticks. These ticks are found throughout the Southeast and up the Atlantic coast to Maine. Sometimes called Lone Star or Seed ticks (Amblyomma americanum), these ticks are seen as a possible carrier of the Heartland Virus. … Continue reading