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Published on June 05, 2019

Tiny Ticks, Big Problems

Be tick smart and enjoy summer in the great outdoors.

Tick-Borne Diseases

The tick population is on the rise, which means tick-borne illnesses are, too. Ticks become infected with diseases by taking blood from infected animals. Humans can get sick if an infected tick bites them.

graphic image of a tickProtect Yourself

Michael R. Brown, DO, a family medicine physician with Meritas Health Park Plaza, offers this advice.

  • Apply a tick repellent with DEET to clothes and shoes
  • Wear long pants and long sleeves in wooded or brushy areas, or places with shrubs, bushes or tall grass
  • Check for ticks when you come inside
  • Toss outdoor clothes in the dryer; heat kills ticks
  • Shower with a washcloth and soap to dislodge any ticks

Best Removal Method

  • Don’t panic; most tick bites do not result in harmful infections
  • Grasp the tick close to the skin with fine-tipped tweezers
  • Pull straight up and out slowly so the mouth-parts don’t break off in the skin
  • Clean the area with rubbing alcohol, then wash it with soap and water
  • Dispose of a live tick by putting it in alcohol or a sealed bag; wrapping it tightly with tape; or flushing it down the toilet

When to Call the Doctor

Symptoms can appear days, even weeks, after a tick bite. Call your doctor if you have body aches, chills, fever, loss of appetite or rash.