This weekend is Labor Day weekend, that last weekend of summer (in a way). Or, for many of us, it is now the first weekend of college football!! We will be spending time with friends outside, as well as inside (watching a particular night game on Sunday evening), enjoying this collision of things we love.
Even though it is getting away from summer we still need to be cautious about ticks.
Ticks are a nuisance. No one wants anything on their body that drinks their blood or – worse than that – also give you a disease. Most people are familiar with Lyme disease, but not the many other equally serious diseases that ticks carry. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now lists 14 diseases that ticks in the United States can transmit and cause human disease. The CDC website also has regional distribution maps with pictures of the ticks that carry these diseases and where in the nation they are most like to be.
What can you do to avoid ticks and the risk of diseases they carry for the rest of this summer? The CDC has suggestions on steps everyone can take to avoid ticks on themselves, their pets, and in their yards. Here are a few things you can do:
- Learn what ticks and tick diseases are common in the area where you live or where you are going on vacation.
- Avoid direct contact with areas where ticks are normally found, such as wooded areas with bushes and high grass, weeds, and leaf litter.
- If in areas with ticks, frequently give yourself full-body checks for ticks. If you find a tick remove it immediately and correctly.
- Consider using tick repellents on clothing. You can effectively treat boots, pants, shirts, socks, and tents with products containing 0.5% permethrin.
- Keep yourself informed about ticks and diseases caused by ticks.
So as you are out and about this weekend ending the summer with some fun or cheering on your favorite college football team (cough: Go Vols!) keep your family safe from ticks in this last stretch of their peak season.