Warm weather means lots of outdoor activities, and with that comes the risk of tick exposure. Ticks are tiny, have eight legs and are typically reddish-brown in color. Ticks can’t jump or fly, they climb tall grasses, leaf litter or bushes and wait for a host to walk by and brush up against them and look for a place to attach. Be especially cautious when in this type of environment. Ticks carry a lot of different diseases, some of them serious. Reducing exposure to ticks is the best defense against Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and other tickborne infections.
If you spend time outdoors or have pets that go outdoors, you need to beware of ticks. You and your family can take several steps to prevent and control tickborne infections:
- The CDC recommends using insect repellent rated for the amount of time you are going to be outside. Use DEET or for a plant-based option, oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Wear long sleeves, pants, and tuck your pant legs into your socks.
- Shower soon after being outdoors.
- Check for ticks daily—especially under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and on the hairline and scalp.
- Landscaping techniques may help keep ticks out of your yard.
If you find a tick attached to your skin, follow these steps from the CDC on how to remove it safely: http://bit.ly/2LQVaXc
If you think you’ve been bitten and show any signs and symptoms of a tickborne illness, please contact your doctor immediately.