(WKBN) – As we near summer and continue to see warmer weather, people aren’t the only ones who will be outside more often. Ticks also come out in the warmer months and can pose serious risks for people and pets.
With warmer weather arriving, the Columbiana County Health Department is placing its attention on concerns about ticks. There are several things you can do to try to keep them away from your body.
“We always recommend using an EPA-approved repellant if you’re going to be outside,” said Laura Fauss with the Columbiana County Health Department.
And ticks don’t discriminate. Fauss says pets are another exposure route even if you’re not outside. She encourages pet owners to consult their vets about products to use to prevent ticks on their dogs and cats.
Make sure you’re extra cautious when entering wooded areas and areas with high grass because ticks tend to be concentrated there.
While there can be ticks in mowed areas, it’s harder for them to latch onto you because the grass is shorter.
Fauss says if you do find a tick on yourself, make sure you know how to remove it properly.
“There’s old remedies on using Vaseline and using lighters and different things like that. None of those are the appropriate ways to remove a tick. You want to grab them with tweezers and pull straight away from yourself,” Fauss said.
The county health department plans to have interns working to educate the public on ticks as well as study local tick numbers.
Fauss says education is important, especially with Lyme disease increasing in Northeast Ohio every year.
“Last year, we had the first Powassan virus disease case in Ohio and both of those are carried by the black-legged tick,” Fauss said.
Fauss says we’re going to continue seeing ticks all the way through fall.
“A lot of people don’t think about ticks until hunting season. Right now, the nymph stage where they’re very small. I mean, the size of a pinhead small. You really have to check yourself well to make sure there aren’t any on you,” she said.