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The Risks of Ticks and How to Prevent Them on Your University, College Campus, or Commercial Building

 In Blog, Ticks

Image of empty classroom As the weather warms up and we head outdoors, it’s important to remember that tick season is also upon us. Ticks are small arachnids that feed on the blood of mammals, birds, and sometimes reptiles and amphibians. They can be found in grassy, wooded, and shady areas.

Universities, College campuses, and commercial buildings often have outdoor spaces that could be habitats for ticks, making it essential to understand the risks they pose and how to prevent tick encounters. Learn how to avoid tick infestation and the importance of professional tick pest control in schools.

Tick Risks

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is the most well-known tick-borne illness and can cause severe health issues if left untreated. Symptoms may include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic bull’s-eye rash. In severe cases, Lyme disease can affect the joints, heart, and nervous system.

Other Tick-Borne Illnesses

Besides Lyme disease, ticks can transmit other diseases such as anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. These illnesses can cause flu-like symptoms and, in some cases, severe complications.

Allergic Reactions:

Some people may experience allergic reactions to tick bites, resulting in itching, redness, and swelling.

Tick Paralysis:

Although rare, tick paralysis can occur if a tick remains attached for an extended period. The toxin in the tick’s saliva can cause paralysis, which typically resolves once the tick is removed.

Preventing Tick Encounters

To keep yourself and others safe, take these preventative measures around your university, college campus, or commercial building:

Maintain Landscaped Areas:

Ticks thrive in tall grasses and overgrown areas. Regularly mow lawns, trim bushes, and keep paths clear to reduce tick habitats. Remove leaf litter and debris from wooded and grassy areas.

Create Buffer Zones:

Establishing a buffer zone between grassy or wooded areas and well-traveled paths can help minimize tick encounters. Use gravel, wood chips, or mulch as barriers.

Educate Staff and Students:

Provide educational materials and hold informational sessions on tick risks and prevention methods. Encourage people to check themselves for ticks after spending time outdoors.

Wear Protective Clothing:

When spending time outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeves, and closed-toe shoes to minimize exposed skin. Light-colored clothing can make it easier to spot ticks.

Use Insect Repellent:

Apply Health Canada -registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus to clothing and exposed skin. Permethrin-treated clothing is also an effective option. Please follow all label directions.

Conduct Regular Tick Checks:

After spending time outdoors, perform thorough tick checks on yourself, your clothing, and any gear you were using. Ticks often attach to hard-to-reach areas such as the scalp, behind the ears, and the back of the knees.

Keep Pets Protected:

If you bring pets to work or school, keep them on a leash and away from tall grasses and wooded areas. Use tick prevention treatments on pets as recommended by your veterinarian.

Install Fencing:

Consider installing fencing around the perimeter of your property to keep out wildlife that may carry ticks, such as deer.

Contact a professional Tick Pest Control Company:

When timed property, a professional pest control company will have an effective program to control ticks in and around your facility. Learn more about our pest control for schools.

What to Do If You Find a Tick

If you discover a tick attached to your skin, remove it promptly and correctly:

Use Fine-Tipped Tweezers:

Grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible and pull upward with steady, even pressure. Avoid twisting or jerking the tick, as this can cause parts of it to break off and remain in the skin.

Clean the Bite Area:

Once the tick is removed, clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol, soap and water, or an antiseptic.

Dispose of the Tick Safely:

Place the tick in a sealed bag or container and dispose of it in the trash. You may also choose to save the tick in a container in case you need to have it identified later.

Monitor for Symptoms:

Watch for any signs of tick-borne illness, such as fever, rash, or flu-like symptoms. If you experience any of these, seek medical attention promptly.

Conclusion

Ticks can pose a significant health risk, but with proper awareness and preventative measures, you can reduce the likelihood of encountering them on your university, college campus, or commercial building. By taking steps to maintain your outdoor spaces, educate staff and students, and promote personal protection, you can create a safer environment for everyone. Stay vigilant and take action to keep ticks at bay during tick season.

Learn more about our pest control in Newmarket, Vaughan, Mississauga, Markham, Richmond Hill and across the GTA.

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