Tips for protecting yourself from ticks during summer

Keep you and your family safe after an adventure outdoors during the warmer months.
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 5:16 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Ticks are parasitic arachnids that have a sneaky way of getting into homes. By either hopping on human or animal bodies, ticks are able to spread dangerous diseases.

“What they’ll be doing is hanging onto a grass, a blade of grass or some other vegetation with a couple of legs and all the rest of the legs are sticking out waiting for something to walk by that’s got pants, fur, socks whatever that they can grab on to,” said Ellen Rathbone, an educator at Severson Dells Nature Center.

One of the tick types you may see pop up is the deer tick, known for carrying Lyme Disease.

“It’s a bacterial infection so you’re going to get things like fever, headache, fatigue. Its official title is Erythema Migraines but it’s also known as the bullseye rash,” said Winnebago County Public Health Administrator Dr. Sandra Martell.

With the shorter winter and longer summers, the tick population has escalated. However, experts say that there is nothing to fear when proactive.

Here’s a quick video about tick safety:

“Most ticks have to be on you at least 24, 36 or 48 hours before and feeding for that long before you have to worry about actual disease transmission. So, if it is just crawling around on you, pull it off, you’re fine,” said Rathbone.

Ticks can’t make a way onto your body if you are not giving them an entrance. Wear long pants and sleeves, tuck pants into socks and shirts into pants. It’s also important to check your pets, as ticks prefer areas with a lot of hair or fur. Dr. Martell says if you do discover a tick bite, remove it, place it in a plastic bag and store it. If you end up with symptoms of Lyme disease doctors can use that tick to determine your treatment.

If you would like to learn more about tick removal, Severson Dells Nature Center has some helpful tips up on its website. Those tips can be found here.

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