As the weather stays nice and we're spending more time outside, it's important to take precaution to stay safe, and that includes preventing tick bites.
If you're spending time in long grasses, shrubs, woods, or any tick habitats, there are preventative measures you can take, including thorough checks of yourself, your family and your pets.
"To wear repellent or treated clothing to prevent ticks from biting in the first place," said Daniel Frank, Entomology Extension Specialist at West Virginia University. "Tucking socks into pants. Tucking shirts into pants to keep ticks on the outside for longer periods of time where you may notice them and be able to remove them before they bite."
.Additional precautions can be taken to prevent ticks near your home.
"Ticks like high moisture environments, high humidity environments," Frank explained. "Reducing humidity wherever possible, keeping grass mowed short, pruning trees so the sunlight can get into the yard and dry things out quickly."
Removing ticks early is key. Frank says they must be attached for 36 to 48 hours to spread Lyme disease, and there are warning signs.
"You see a circular rash may develop, but that's only in some people not everyone," he explained. "Early symptoms would be similar to a flu or a cold. Nausea, headache, dizziness,things like that."
If you do have a tick, using tweezers and pulling upward with steady even pressure to remove it is best.
"Be sure to remove the mouth parts just to prevent any infection that could possibly occur and killing it once you remove it," said Frank. "I don't recommend using Vaseline or matches because they can actually make the tick burrow in further."