As we gear up for another hot summer in Puerto Rico, we have to prepare for an influx of ticks as well. Our warm climate creates a perfect environment for ticks with its comfortable conditions and abundance of animals to feed on. Ticks are known transmitters of lots of serious diseases, including the notorious Lyme disease. Keep reading to learn how to remove ticks as safely as possible and lessen your chances of contracting a vector-borne illness this summer.
Species of Ticks Living in San Juan PR
Fortunately for us, Lyme disease can only be contracted through a deer tick bite, and this kind of tick doesn’t live in Puerto Rico. However, there are two common tick species in our area that are able to spread disease to humans:
- Lone star tick: These ticks are pale brown in color with round, flat bodies. Female lone star ticks have a white spot on their back and particularly long mouthparts. They like to live in areas with dense vegetation.
- American dog tick: These are very similar looking to the lone star tick. Both the male and female have white markings along the back, and their color is more of a reddish-brown than a pale brown. Both kinds of ticks measure about 5mm in length.
How to Remove a Tick Safely
If you notice a tick lodged in your skin, it’s best to remove it as soon as you can to lessen the odds of contracting a disease. The CDC has published their advice for safe tick removal – here are their four steps for safely dislodging and disposing of a tick:
- Use a thin pair of tweezers to grab the tick, pinching it as close as possible to the skin’s surface.
- Pull the tick out of the skin slowly and gently. If the tweezers twist as you pull away, the tick’s mouthparts could break off in your skin. Simply remove the mouthparts from the skin using your tweezers if this happens.
- Clean the bite with soap and water or rubbing alcohol after you’ve taken the tick out.
- Get rid of the tick by flushing it down the toilet or tossing it in a sealable trash can. Never squish a tick with your fingers.
If you have developed a rash or a fever that you believe to be related to a recent tick bite, consult a medical professional right away.
Professional Tick Control Services
If you’re ready to take the next step towards a tick-free summer, talk to your local pest control company. Here at Rentokil, formerly Oliver Exterminating, our exterminators are well versed in the particular tick issues that plague Puerto Ricans year after year. For a free estimate, contact us today!