KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the temperature rise, so do the number of tick bites. They’re not just annoying, they can also carry a host of serious diseases.
The best way to avoid ticks? Stay out of their neighborhood, including locations of high grass and heavily wooded areas. If you can’t avoid those areas, there are some things you can do to help prevent tick bites.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife suggests wearing long clothing. Tuck your pant legs into boots and your shirts into your pants.
Wear light-colored clothing. It’s easier to spot a tick that way before it gets on your skin.
Use a repellent that contains half a percent or more of permethrin. It’s the best chemical proven to keep ticks at bay.
Before you go inside, check your clothing. Once you’re inside do a full body check.
Lastly, keep your lawn trimmed and manicured. Ticks love nothing more than tall grass.
“Since ticks cannot jump or fly, what they do is climb up a tall piece of grass or a bush and then when you walk past it or brush past it, it then gets on you and that’s how ticks like to basically travel,” Jeff Hershberger, Kansas City Missouri Health Department, said.
If you find a tick on your body, Hershberger said there is a simple method of removing it.
“The best way to remove a tick would be to make sure to grasp it by the head using a tweezer and gently pull it loose,” he said.
Pets should also be examined for ticks. Your local vet can prescribe a tick prevention regiment.
One of the biggest concerns regarding ticks is that they carry Lyme Disease. It is the most common disease carried by ticks and it’s really difficult to diagnose. Signs or symptoms may not appear for weeks. Symptoms actually mimic the flu, including headache, skin rash, fever, feeling sore or stiff, loss of appetite and fatigue.
If you experience these symptoms in the weeks following a tick bite, experts suggest you see a doctor immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment of Lyme Disease is critical to recovery.