Getting outside more? Watch out for ticks!

Getting outside more? Watch out for ticks!
Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 6:49 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Nothing spoils a good walk outside quite like returning home with a tick. And this time of year, many ticks are still young, making them very hard to see.

“A lot of times you don’t know they’re on you until they start feeding and become engorged and get larger,” said Sue Gwise, who’s with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County.

With ticks, there is the risk of disease. Namely, Lyme disease.

“Ticks don’t pass that on until very late in their feeding, so if you can get the tick off before its engorged, you don’t have to worry about that,” Gwise said.

So, what are the best ways to avoid ticks to begin with?

“If you stay on paved areas, on trails, you don’t have to worry so much about that,” Gwise said. It’s when you go off into brush or tall grass. That’s where you’re going to find them.”

You can also spray your clothes with a product called DEET, which repels ticks. Wearing long sleeves and socks helps, too.

“The best thing to do is a tick check after you’ve been outside,” Gwise said. “Pay attention to the area from the knee down, because that’s where they attach.”

And as for your furry friends?

“The best way to keep ticks away from animals is take them to the vet and get the flea and tick control and give that to them monthly,” Gwise said.

But if you do find a tick even after your preventative measures, you can take care of it with a tick removal kit. Pluck the pest out and get it checked by a doctor.