REGION – Ticks have been dominating news headlines from increased populations, to the diseases they carry (Lyme disease, Powassan virus, etc.), related meat allergies some may cause and more.
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has put together tick prevention tips:
· Choose proper clothing. If you’re going to be spending time in wooded areas or tall grasses, wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes. Wearing light colored clothing will make it easier to spot ticks.
· To maintain a tick-free yard, keep grass cut low and remove weeds, woodpiles and debris, which can attract ticks and other pests. Keep shrubs, bushes and other vegetation well pruned, particularly around patios and play areas. If you find a tick in your home or think you have ticks on your property, contact a licensed pest professional who can inspect and recommend a course of action
· Wear an insect repellent containing at least 20 percent DEET when outdoors, and reapply as directed on the label.
· Avoid walking dogs in tall grass, where fleas and ticks often hide, and inspect pets for ticks on a routine basis. Just like humans, pets can contract Lyme disease from blacklegged ticks.
· Inspect yourself and your family members carefully for ticks after being outdoors. If you find a tick, remove it with a slow, steady pull as to not break off the mouthparts and leave them in the skin. Then, wash your hands and the bite site thoroughly with soap and water. Ticks should be flushed down a toilet or wrapped in a tissue before being disposed in a closed receptacle. Be on the lookout for signs of tick bites, such as a telltale red bull’s eye rash around a bite. If you suspect a tick has bitten you, seek immediate medical attention.