WASHINGTON – A blood-sucking creature that embeds its head into skin is bad enough. Ticks also can infect people with bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
Prime tick season kicks in when temperatures are regularly above 50 degrees. From Fauquier to Charles County and locations to the north and in between, people report pulling ticks off themselves and their pets.
“Don’t worry. As long as you get that tick off within the first 24 hours, even if the mouth part stays embedded, it will no longer transmit important diseases such as Lyme Disease,” says University of Maryland Entomologist Mike Raupp.
To remove ticks never use hot matches, Vaseline, or nail polish. Raupp says they don’t work to remove or repel the blood suckers.
How to remove ticks:
Raupp says Lyme Disease symptoms can feel like a summer flu.
Symptoms to beware of:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people developing a fever or rash after a tick bite should seek medical attention.
Ruapp also recommends tucking pants legs into socks to prevent ticks from getting inside clothing. Light colored clothes can make it easier to spot ticks on clothes.
After being outdoors, people should do body checks and examine clothes to remove the critters.