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Public health officials give tips to stay safe during tick season

a tick sitting on a blade of grass

Be on alert for ticks this summer.

The small, eight-legged, bloodsucking parasites can sometimes carry diseases. They like humid, hot weather and after a summer rain, ticks are more plentiful.

Ticks are always around especially in tall grasses and wooded areas, said Dan Suffaletto, spokesman with Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County.

If you see one on your body or on your pet, Suffaletto recommends using sharp pointed tweezers to remove them.

"Grab that tick and steadily pull it away with even pressure," he said. "You don’t want to twist it or jerk it because you don’t want that tick's mouth to break off and stay in the skin. That is what can pass any diseases they have.

Once off, sterilize the skin with alcohol or peroxide. Also don’t crush the tick with your fingers. Wrap it in a bag and throw in the trash or flush it.

"If you’re hiking in the woods, stay in the center of the trail. Also, wear long pants, long sleeves, long socks, tuck your pants into your socks," he said.

In terms of creating a barrier, Suffaletto said people can use repellants.

"You can also treat your clothing, hiking boots, shoes, camping–those materials with permethrin and that can help block the ticks from coming into contact with you," he said.

The black legged tick, also called deer tick, is the most dangerous to people and animals–because it can carry Lyme disease. According to U.S. health officials, nearly half a million Lyme disease infections are reported each year.

Kathryn Mobley is an award-winning broadcast journalist, crafting stories for more than 30 years. She’s reported and produced for TV, NPR affiliate and for the web. Mobley also contributes to several area community groups. She sings tenor with World House Choir (Yellow Springs), she’s a board member of the Beavercreek Community Theatre and volunteers with two community television operations, DATV (Dayton) and MVCC (Centerville).

Email: kmobley@wyso.org
Cell phone: (937) 952-9924