Tick-ed off: The Importance of Protecting Yourself from Ticks

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Ticks are small, spider-like creatures that are commonly found in wooded areas and grassy fields. While they may seem harmless, ticks can actually be a serious threat to humans, as they are known to carry and transmit a variety of diseases. If you're planning on hunting or hiking while you're visiting Broken Bow, Oklahoma, it's important to take some precautions to protect yourself from these pests.

Here are some tips for avoiding tick bites while hunting or hiking:

  • Wear protective clothing: Ticks can crawl onto your skin through clothing, so it's important to wear long-sleeved shirts, tall socks, and pants when hiking or hunting in tick-infested areas. You can also treat your clothing with permethrin, a chemical that kills ticks and other insects.
  • Use insect repellent: Insect repellents containing DEET or picaridin can help to keep ticks away from your skin. Apply the repellent to your skin and clothing according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Check for ticks regularly: If you've been hiking or hunting in an area where ticks are common, check your skin and clothing for ticks on a regular basis. If you find a tick on your skin, remove it promptly to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Stay on the trails: Ticks are more likely to be found in tall grass and wooded areas, so it's best to stay on designated trails when hiking to reduce your exposure to these pests.
  • If you do get a tick bite, it's important to remove the tick as soon as possible. For more information on how to remove a tick safely, you can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website: Tick removal | CDC. If you develop any symptoms of a tick-borne illness, such as fever, rash, or muscle aches, it's important to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Moisture is a friend to ticks, which are less active in sunny, dry areas. Therefore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says removing leaf litter, clearing tall grasses and brush and mowing the lawn frequently can help. If you own a cabin here in Broken Bow, here are some additional ways to create tick-safe zones at your property: 

  • Stack wood neatly in a dry area.
  • Keep playground equipment and entertaining spaces away from trees and yard edges. 
  • Discourage unwanted animals with fencing. 
  • Prevent tick migration into yards with a three-foot-wide barrier of gravel between lawns and wooded areas. 
  • If desired, employ acaricides (tick pesticides) to reduce the number of ticks in your yard. 

Overall, ticks can be a serious threat to hikers and hunters, but by taking some simple precautions, you can protect yourself from these pests and enjoy your outdoor activities without worry.

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You can find additional information about ticks through the following links:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Ticks webpage: https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/index.html

  2. World Health Organization (WHO) Ticks webpage: https://www.who.int/health-topics/ticks/

  3. American Lyme Disease Foundation: https://aldf.com/

  4. International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS): https://www.ilads.org/

  5. National Pesticide Information Center Ticks webpage: https://npic.orst.edu/pest/tick.html

  6. United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Ticks webpage: https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/tick-repellents

  7. The Tick App (A tick identification and information app) : https://www.tickencounter.org/tick_identification

  8. Tick Encounter Resource Center: https://www.tickencounter.org/

  9. The Tickencounter: https://www.tickencounter.org/

  10. The Lyme Disease Association: https://www.lymediseaseassociation.org/