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Staying safe from ticks this summer

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 2:52 PM CDT
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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - Ticks are small bugs, but they can cause big problems. Illnesses like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are possible from tick bites.

“Check yourself for ticks when you come out of the woods, the first thing before they have time to attach themselves,” said Shani Hay, an Mississippi State University extension agent for Lauderdale County. “If they do attach, back them out slowly with a pair of tweezers. Don’t twist, don’t jerk, you want to back them out so that you don’t break their head off in your skin.”

Ticks live in tall grass and shrubs, so avoid walking in these areas when outdoors, if you can.

“If you can’t, you need to wear protective clothing, so like socks with your pants tucked in and preferably use a product with DEET in it,” Hay explained.

Experts also recommend talking to your veterinarian about good products for your pets to keep ticks away.

“[Ticks are] bad this year because of all the moisture, and obviously more moisture means more grass and shrubs growing up, so keeping your yard clean will help keep them away,” Hay said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since 2017, people ages 0 to 9 were the most common tick bite patients in emergency rooms in the United States.

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