There's not much in this world that will spark panic in a Mom more than spotting a tick. I mean look at this they not send shivers up your spine? They're gross, unsuspecting and they can make us permanently sick. I hate to break the news but this is the first official day of tick season (April to mid-to-late October is when they are in full swing) and experts are predicting that the tick population in New Jersey will be off the charts this year.  Well super.

I honestly feel like we live in the tick capital of the world! I’m so afraid to hike with my kids…I spray them down from head to toe before going anywhere! I swear I should buy stock in OFF!. My tick-phobia runs deep.  Growing up, I saved my dad from the damaging effects of lyme disease because I noticed a red bull’s eye on his back after he was done mowing the lawn. He got tested for lyme, and he had it, but since it was caught super early he was able to nip it in the bud with medicine before it became a thing. Since they're a big threat to us and our pets, I wanted to give you some tips AND let you know about a company that can put your mind at ease called TickCheck.

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If you get bit by a tick, save it because this company has you mail in the tick and then they test it.  In just a few days they report back to you.  They can determine with 99.99% accuracy if the tick that bit you carries Lyme or 10 additional diseases. It's easy to do:

Order a tick test on
Send your tick directly to their lab
Get your tick test results within 24-48 business hours of lab receipt.
Like with my Dad, early detection is EVERYTHING and symptoms of Lyme appear days or weeks after the initial bite. Only tick testing enables you to determine if you were exposed to a tick-borne disease before symptoms ever appear, allowing you to discuss proactive treatment options with your doctor. I did not know this option was out there until recently so I wanted to pass it along to you!

Just as a reminder avoid high grass, wear tick repellent, tuck pant legs into socks, wear light-colored clothes, check yourself, your family and your pets thoroughly after spending time outdoors, and shower soon after hiking to reduce your chances of being bitten. You could also treat your clothes with Permethrin.  If you have been bitten, remove ticks immediately with tweezers and save it so you can send it in for what I call "the peace of mind test".

I guess everything has a redeeming quality, even ticks.  Apparently, they are an essential food source for reptiles, amphibians, and birds so there's that.  Stay safe you guys!
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