BEWARE: Tick Bites Pose Increased Risk To Ohioans This Summer

The fingers of the hand catch an encephalitis forest tick crawling on human skin. Danger of insect bite and human disease

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With the spring's warmer weather and blooming flowers inevitably comes tick season — and the tick population is expected to surge this year, according to Ohio's Country Journal.

One tick commonly found in Ohio that Ohio State University Extension educator Tim McDermott believes you should be on the lockout for is the lone star tick. The species entered Ohio over the last decade or so and has since spread throughout the state.

Tick bites can cause severe complications, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. In certain cases, bites from a lone star tick can also cause a severe allergy to red meat and dairy.

To prevent tick bites where in places the insect may be active, like wooded areas, McDermott suggests the following precautions (via Ohio's Country Journal):

  • Wear light-colored clothes including a long-sleeved shirt tucked into your pants and long pants tucked into your socks or boots.
  • Apply a tick repellent according to label instructions.
  • Wear footwear and clothing that have been treated correctly with permethrin. These can be purchased through many outfitters and clothing companies. 
  • Do frequent tick checks of your body while outside, and do a thorough inspection at shower time.
  • Protect your pets with an anti-tick product recommended by a veterinarian.
  • Keep dogs on a leash and avoid allowing them into weedy areas.
  • Do not crush or puncture a tick, if you find one attached. Instead, use pointy tweezers or a tick removal tool to carefully remove the tick by grasping the tick as close to your skin as possible and pulling it straight up with steady, even pressure. Then, disinfect the bite site, and wash your hands with soap and water. 
  • Save the tick for identification. 

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