In the South, tick season has arrived. What to look out for and how to avoid bites
In the South, tick season is in full swing, so keep an eye out.
Ticks can be found throughout the year, but they are most active from April through September. Tick bites, for example, become more common in late spring in North Carolina, according to Wake County’s website.
Ticks can carry diseases that pose a major risk to humans, according to health experts.
Here are some safety precautions and warning indicators to look out for.
How can you stay away from bites?
In Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, four tick species bite humans. According to McClatchy News, a fifth species lives along the East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico.
Ticks can be found in grassy, brushy, or forested places, as well as on animals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Walking your dog, going camping, gardening, or hunting may make you more likely to get tick bites.
However, if you want to enjoy warm-weather activities, the CDC and the North Carolina Cooperative Extension recommend the following actions to keep you safe:
- Walk in the middle of paths and steer clear of areas with high grasses or heavy leaf cover.
- Use products that have permethrin on your clothes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has an online tool that lets you search for repellents.
- Wear light-colored clothes in layers and tuck your pants into your socks when possible.
- Slide a white cloth over plants to check for ticks before choosing a camping spot.
What if you’re found out?
When you return home from a location where ticks may be present, experts advise taking a shower. You should also check your body and clothing for seed-sized creatures.
As soon as you notice the attached tick, remove it, “the CDC advises on its website.” “Grasp the tick with tweezers and pull it straight out as close to the skin as possible.”
It’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for signs of trouble, such as rashes, fever, and flu-like symptoms. Lyme disease, the most common of its kind in the United States, is “rarely life-threatening,” but delaying treatment, according to health officials, can lead to more serious consequences.