Ticks have made their way back to our state again, and according to the experts, their presence is bigger than ever.
They’re creepy-crawlers that attach themselves to skin and feed on blood.
I’m talking about ticks, and according to the experts, these tiny insects became active much sooner this year.
“Often times when people talk about being in the grass, the tall grass, and seeing a lot of ticks, those are the american dog ticks, but the Lyme Disease tick, better known as the black legged tick or the dog tick, those ticks are more in the woods,” says Associate Professor at MSU, Jean Tsao.
Lyme Disease can be transmitted just by one bite of an infected tick and can cause problems to your nervous system.
Jean Tsao is an ecologist at Michigan State University.
“I like to think of Memorial Day weekend, actually being the beginning of the nymph season, but folks in the upper Midwest, northeast, my students here in Michigan, they’ve been picking up nymphs for weeks now,” says Tsao.
Megan Porter is one of her students.
“We’re looking for areas along trails, so that we can estimate the risk to the public, to people who are out walking their dogs in the forest enjoying themselves,” says Porter.
If you’re outside this weekend, here’s what you can do to protect yourself.
Porter says, tuck your pant legs into your socks, to prevent ticks from biting your ankles.
Also, use mosquito repellent. If you have animals, make sure they’re up to date on medications.
Finally, check yourself over when you come in from outside.
If you do come across a tick, Tsao says, use tweezers to remove it.
“Don’t pull on the body, but go down close to the skin and pull the tick out from where it’s attached, and if you get a little skin, that’s great because that means you’ve done your job especially well,” says Tsao.
Tsao says, once you’ve pulled the tcik off, save it in a plastic bag with a wet cotton ball for a few days.
That way, if you start to feel sick, you can find out what type of tick it is, and treat the symptoms appropriately.