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How to tackle tick season without fear

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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.

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  • My Info

    Lauren talks WAY too fast and fumbles alot doing it. please be aware that I turn on the news when I’m still laying down in my brain is just starting to wake up. You guys need to take your excitement level down a notch I almost want to say report the news quietly

  • DJ

    Not sure who puts out the numbers on these things, but it is very frustratIng! On your news this morning Katie Ferrell said that there are no confirmed cases of Lyme disease in Missouri in 2012. I have Lyme disease and almost died with it. There is a whole organization in KC for Lyme disease, there are support groups for Lyme disease. This report is rediculous! My Infectious Disease Specialist gets upset as well and says, deer carry ticks that carry Lyme disease, what? They stop at the state line and say, “oh this is Missouri, I can’t go in there.”

  • Rebecca

    Chronic Lyme Disease. Try that for a story. Medically political, convuluted, pigeon holed to the school of thought/ training of the doctor or facility you use. Potentially a life threatening disease. Certainly a quality of life changing disease. Just had to put this out here. I had a very disappointing doctor appointment yesterday. Closed minds, ugh.

  • Robert Boose

    Have some chickens and you will not have ticks, and eat garlic ticks hate garlic they will not get on you if they do they will not bite they will jst walk around trying to get off… Garlic get at store and eat wild garlic work to but got to be in body for about 2 month before you see that the garlic works… they even make lawn spray now using garlic….

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