Detroit Free Press
Pull out the bug spray, Michiganders, there are more ticks than ever in Michigan right now and this increase is showing no signs of slowing down.
Ticks may seem like innocent, pesky little insects but they can carry diseases that lead to serious health concerns.
Here’s how to deal with the insurgence of ticks without letting it ruin your summer.
How do I prevent ticks?
Perform tick checks on yourself and your pets after coming in from the outside, whether it’s a hike or playing with your dog in the backyard. Thoroughly check your hair, your clothes and every small crevice. Check your pets, too! Take a shower after being outside. Use EPA-certified insect repellant (but avoid ingesting it, and make sure to check with a veterinarian before spraying your pet).
I found a tick, now what?
The first thing to do is take a deep breath, there’s no need to panic. Some ticks do not carry any diseases, and even if they do, it usually takes at least 24 hours for the pathogen to transmit.
Remove the tick with tweezers at an even, steady rate to ensure it does not break off. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns against using your bare hands or methods of burning it off, as the goal is to keep the tick intact and remove it as quickly as possible. Clean the bite area with soap and water or rubbing alcohol. Dispose of the tick by wrapping it carefully and putting it in a sealed container or flushing it down the toilet.
They’re just bugs, why does it matter?
Ticks can be vectors for a variety of diseases, from Lyme disease to Rocky Mountain spotted fever to the deadly meat allergy. If you notice any symptoms — including fever, headache, muscle aches or a rash — after removing a tick, call your doctor immediately and seek treatment.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan has a tick problem. Here’s what you need to know.
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