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Protecting Yourself Against Ticks

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By Jay Michaels

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) The warmer it gets outside, the more we want to spend time there. But we could run into some unwelcome company – namely, ticks.

If you like hunting, hiking, and four-wheeling, you'll need to dress properly before you head into the great outdoors. You'll also want to pre-treat your pets, if you take them along. But man's best friend can also bring ticks in from even closer to home.

Mary Jensen, Program Manager for South Central Public Health District, says, "You most often find ticks in brushy areas, tall grasses, out in wooded areas. But they can be even in your yard, if you have bushes. Your pets and animals can actually bring them into your living environments."

The best way to prevent picking up a tick is to make sure you wear long sleeved clothes, long pants, and tuck your pants into your boots. Spray yourself with DEET.

If you find a tick, remove it with fine tipped tweezers. It takes up to 24 hours for the tick to attach, so get it out before then if possible.

Mary Jensen points out you shouldn't paint the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly, or try to use heat to make the tick "let go."

Jensen says, "If you do find a tick, you need to remove the tick safely. Make sure that you use the appropriate measures to remove that tick so that you get the head as well. Then make sure that you know what the signs and symptoms are.

Jensen indicates those signs are a rash, nausea, fatigue, or weakness. Call your doctor and let them know you were exposed to a tick, and when it happened. Ticks can transmit diseases through their saliva.

Debbie Blackwood, Manager for the Twin Falls Animal Shelter, "If you have a real young animal, and it gets a lot of ticks, you can actually have tick bite anemia. They can use a lot of their blood if the body is small enough that they've attacked, and there's enough of them."

So if you head into the brush or the forest, make sure you check yourself thoroughly when you get back, along with your pets, children, and anybody else that you take along.

Apr. 23, 2013.


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