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Camping Dangers: Ticks

camping dangers ticks

Camping is a lot of fun and a great way for people to enjoy nature at its best. Taking children and pets camping is an experience and a great way to get away from the day to day grind of work, school, and house cleaning, and have some fun in the great outdoors. While it can be a lot of fun it also has its challenges, particularly when you pitch your tent in remote areas. Ticks are just one of several unwanted visitors you may encounter at your campsite, but they don’t have to put a dampener on your entire trip.

Facts About Ticks

  • Can be found in moist, wooded areas
  • Feed on blood (their only food source)
  • Bite into skin and attach themselves
  • Carry diseases, most notably Lyme Disease (deer ticks)
  • Will attach to both humans and animals i.e. pets
  • Vary in size from very small to the size of a kernel of corn (and sometimes bigger)
  • Have to be forcibly removed 
  • Active all year round, even in winter
  • CAN BE PREVENTED

Prevention is Key

It is far better to take preventative measures than to discover you have become a food source for one or more ticks. Wearing protective clothing can go along way towards preventing ticks attaching themselves to your skin. While in the summer it may seem annoying to wear long sleeves, it is far less annoying than having to remove a tick that has buried its ‘teeth’ into your arm.

  • Set up camp in an open area away from brush and trees, and preferably on short grassed ground.
  • If you intend to be in moist, wooded areas invest in tick repellent clothing that has been treated with permethrin. An alternative is to purchase permethrin sprays or soak kits and treat your own clothing with it. 
  • Always go prepared with an adequate first aid kit fully stocked with basic necessities.
  • Avoid brushing up against leaves as ticks are known to attach themselves to the ends and wait for a ‘host’ to pass by before leaping onto it. Stay on trails and walk in the middle to prevent contact with foliage.
  • Ensure feet are properly covered as ticks will crawl from the ground and up under pant legs to attach to the skin of the leg. Don’t walk on areas that have a lot of fallen leaves or tall grass where ticks may be lurking.

In the Event of a Possible Tick Bite

  • Upon returning to the campsite do a full body check for any ticks that may have attached themselves. Pair up where possible so that your partner can check your back and other areas you cannot check yourself.
  • Rinse off or shower to wash off any ticks that may be on your skin but not yet attached
  • Remove any attached ticks immediately. A good pair of tweezers or specially designed tick removers is the simplest method of extraction.

Keeping Pets Safe

It is only natural that when you go camping you take your dog along with you. After all it is a member of the family and will love being in the great outdoors just as much as you do. Unfortunately dogs are often the quickest to pick up a tick, particularly if they like to wander around the campsite, exploring in among the bushes and trees. 

  • Keep your dog within the immediate campsite area
  • Keep your dog on a short leash when hiking/walking 
  • Treat with a top quality flea and tick treatment
  • Fit a top quality flea and tick collar to your dog
  • Check often for ticks and remove immediately

For more in-depth information and prevention tips check out this site recommended by Cassie Adams, a recent visitor to our site: Tick Safety, Identification, Removal and Prevention

 

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