Protecting yourself against ticks

Health

We usually see an increase in ticks during the summer months, and they can be dangerous.

Ticks can be a real nuisance when you’re trying to enjoy the outdoors. 

Doctors say most people get bit by ticks in the summer. 

“I have seen a few people that have been bitten and they have had a really rough time,” said Vermont resident Ted Kelly. “So its not something to not take seriously.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, tick, flea, and mosquito bites have more than tripled in the U.S. since 2004.

American Pest Solutions told 22News, they’re seeing a lot more ticks in western Massachusetts and that’s due to more smaller mammals around.

“They are everywhere. And what is really causing it the amount of ground rodents you see,” said American Pest Solutions Entomologist Bob Russell. “More chipmunks, rabbits foxes, all these small mammals are moving them around the area.”

Ticks like to hide out in the woods and tall grassy areas and they can transmit several different diseases, including Lyme Disease, if they bite you. But you don’t necessarily need to see a doctor if you get bit.

A Tick bite will typically leave behind a circular rash on your skin. 

Baystate Franklin Medical Center said you should only see a doctor if you begin experiencing any additional symptoms. 

“If you develop symptoms such as fever or if the tick has appeared engorged meaning it had a blood meal or its been attached for more than 36 hours it’s worth calling your doctor,” said Infectious Disease Physician at Baystate Franklin Medical Center, Dr. Jennifer Schimmel.

Dr. Schimmel told 22News deer ticks can transmit Lyme Disease, but not dog ticks. Lyme Disease symptoms include arthritis, inflammation of the joints, and neurological problems. 

Dr. Schmimel said the best way to remove a tick is with clean tweezers. After you remove it, clean the bite area and your hands with soap and water.

Never crush a tick with your fingers.

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