As the weather gets warmer, we tend to cover less of our body and that’s when the ticks come out. There are steps you can take to prevent tick bites and steps you can take to immediately deal with them so you don’t get sick.
Remember, this time of year there are many nymph (young) ticks that can be difficult to spot. Many are the size of a pencil tip. Don’t forget to look at the scalp, behind ears, between buttocks and elsewhere.
Generally, a tick needs to be attached greater than 36-48 hours to transmit Lyme disease, so early detection is your best defense.
Examine your family members for unexplained rashes, often circular or target-shaped that could be a sign of Lyme disease. This often is associated with mild flu-like symptoms. If you notice any of these symptoms, please contact your primary care provider.
Enjoy these wonderful sunny months, and with a little prevention you can avoid getting a tick-related illness.
Here are some additional tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Use an Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellent like Avon Skin-So-Soft or Off. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Stay away from and/or remove leaf litter. Mow lawns frequently.
Keep playground equipment, decks and patios away from yard edges or trees. Search family and pets daily for evidence of ticks, and remove them if they are present. Shower after being outside. Examine gear and clothing to make sure ticks haven’t attached themselves to them. Dry clothes in a dryer on high heat to kill ticks on dry clothing when you come back inside.
Marita Michelin serves as chief of emergency medicine for Rochester Regional Eastern Region.