KEYC - Tricks To Keep Ticks Off You

Tricks To Keep Ticks Off You

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MANKATO, MN -

Specialists say tick season began in early April and while we know they're a normal part of Minnesota summers, you'll want to protect yourself.
Here are the A-B-C's to keeping the ticks off.

A is for avoiding tall grasses, and wooded areas. All places ticks love to hide.
B is for bug spray with DEET. That is a necessary agent to keep those nasty bugs away.
C is for clothing. Long shirts, pant and high socks are all tools to protect yourself from ticks.
 
"And I would add another C, and that would be to check yourself after you've been in that kind of environment. Take a look and see if there are any ticks that landed on you or come to rest on you somewhere that you weren't expecting,"Sara Beske said, a Nurse Practitioner at Mayo Clinic Health System's Express Clinic in the HyVee on Hilltop.

"If you're wearing pants, you can just tuck in the socks over it. It does look very geeky, but it does prevent those ticks from getting on your body," Scott Kudelka, a Minneopa Area Naturalist laughed. 
 
Kudelka says wearing light colored clothing will help too, so the ticks will be easier to spot if they do find their way crawling on you. He also recommends taking a shower right after coming inside so the ticks can't crawl and hide.
So far, Kudelka says he's seen a high number of wood-ticks, and with the wet spring that's not surprising.
But you're definitely going to want to make sure you're following the A-B-C's.
 
"What we say is stay on the center trails. You get off in the tall grass and to the tree line and stuff, that's where it's going to happen," Kudelka said. 
 
Medical professionals say it'll take 36-48 hours for an infection to occur. However, the earlier you can get the ticks off you, the better.
Research says you need to be cautious even when mowing the lawn, or gardening in the yard because you'll spend more time out there than you probably will at a state park.
If you do end up getting a bite, a tell-tale sign is a red rash-like bulls-eye from where the tick bit you.
 
"A lot of the times the symptoms can be flu like symptoms. You know, not feeling very good, not having a lot of energy. So a lot of people mistake those signs," Kudelka said. 
 
If you get Lyme disease from a deer tick, you can get treated with antibiotics pretty quickly at a cite like Mayo Clinic's HyVee Express Clinic. But don't forget, you're not the only one ticks like to feed on.
 
"A lot of times, they are treated, and the tick will crawl off the pet onto the human. And so another opportunity even if you haven't been out in the woods is to check yourself after your dogs have been out," Beske said. 

Tick season lasts well into fall, so make sure you're protecting yourself and your pets all the way through their feeding season.
--KEYC News 12.