Tick-borne diseases occur worldwide, including in your own backyard. People usually pick up ticks from woody underbrush, tall grass or weeds, and the fur of outdoor pets. To help protect yourself and your family, you should:
- Use a chemical repellent
- Wear light-colored protective clothing
- Tuck pant legs into socks
- Avoid tick-infested areas
- Check yourself, your children and your pets for ticks
Ticks should be removed as soon as possible. The longer the tick stays attached and feed, the greater the chances of it transmitting Lyme disease to the person. An individual is less likely to get Lyme disease if the tick is removed within 24 hours.
Despite old wives’ tales, never remove a tick with a hot match, petroleum jelly or by using fingernail polish. Do not crush or squeeze the tick, since its body may be infected with germs. If you need assistance removing a tick or want a tick bite evaluated, please make an appointment at one of Meriter’s primary care clinics.