We love pretty much everything about where we live, the mountains, the seasons, the tight-knit community. And maybe, just maybe, we even love the long cold winters – but that’s debatable to a New Englander!

But there are two things we don’t love. Ticks – and getting sick. And while we think most folks are now reasonably well versed on the dangers of tickborne illness, we wanted to reiterate just how important it is to be Tick Aware. These little guys are everywhere you go – and are spreading their territories, becoming more prevalent in New England – even in urban areas – even in winter. And they carry some severely debilitating diseases.

We won’t continue to bum you out with such tales of sickness, but, in fact, you probably know someone who has contracted Lyme disease and understand first hand many of the implications. Instead, we want to offer a gentle reminder to keep a diligent watch over your family and offer some tips for staying on top of things.

• Never assume you aren’t in tick territory. While they do love tall grasses, they can be anywhere – transported by pets, children, rodents or birds. Yes, they can fall from the sky!
• Tuck your pants into your socks (it’s a good look, really!) and watch your beltline. They often climb up a pantleg looking for a nice spot to hide.
• Use shower time for a tick check. Most folks shower daily, and it often takes time for a tick to locate a ‘safe’ place to attach. If you make a point of checking yourself each time you shower – you will locate them fast – hopefully before they start to dig in.
• Speaking of showering – it is a good idea to immediately wash your clothes (the hotter the better) and take a shower immediately after enjoying the outdoors, after a hike or working in the yard, for example. The faster you can wash them off – the safer you’ll be.
• Treat your clothes. While we all have different tips and tricks, from essential oils to chemicals, be sure to put some repellant of some sort on your pants and shoes. You don’t have to bathe in DEET (but it helps) if you treat your clothing. Says this article in Wirecutter “Buying a permethrin spray is the easiest way to quickly take action against ticks.” And while I don’t think any of us are too keen on using chemicals on our person – repelling them is much easier than dealing with a bite.
• If you have pets – be sure they are treated as well.

And If you are bitten, do not hesitate to go to the walk-in clinic or call your doctor. Obviously, we aren’t here to provide medical advice. However, don’t wait for the bullseye rash or to see if you get sick – symptoms may not appear, and you could be carrying a disease. When in doubt – call a professional.

Lesson learned? There are things out there that can hurt you, but there are also things you can do to protect yourself. Be safe, don’t be scared, but always be…tick aware.

The recruiting team at Masiello Employment doesn’t bite – be sure to give us a call the next time you are seeking workers or a new position. Hopefully, we will see you out and about enjoying the great outdoors!