After laying low all winter, ticks are out in full force — and apparently in even greater numbers than normal.
Hey Boise readers and posts on social media indicate that there may be especially large populations in the Barber Valley and Columbia Village areas right now. So if you’re in the hills around southeast Boise, take extra precautions, but assume that ticks are everywhere in the valley.
Kathy wrote in with some tips, saying she lives in Barber Valley and has recently had to pull as many as five ticks off her goldendoodle after a walk. While wearing plastic gloves, here’s how she recommends removing a tick that’s bitten you or an animal:
- Use fine pointed tweezers to remove the tick as close to the skin as possible, grasping at the attachment site.
- Pull the tick out straight without jerking or twisting.
- Apply rubbing alcohol to the site and remove your gloves, wash your hands.
- You can put the tick in a plastic baggie and bring it to the county health department or local lab for testing.
- Monitor your pet and check to see if any rashes appear.
Some good news: We’re outside the normal habitat range of deer ticks, which transfer Lyme disease. We’re actually pretty safe from many of the worst diseases and infections that ticks can spread, but not immune.
As one reader, Pam, shared, you can actually ship a tick that’s bitten you to a lab for testing.
But the basic ways to deal with ticks are using repellants (there are some good natural ones available), and examining any skin where a tick might go — which is to say, anywhere.