“They like to be active when we like to be active,” said Dr. Karen Vail. “The weather we like the ticks like, too.
A professor of entomology at the University of Tennessee, Vail says ticks are picky, just like us.
“If it’s too hot they are not active, if it’s too cold they are not active, too dry they are not active, too wet they are not active,” said Vail. “So when we like, they like it.”
East Tennesseans likely will see two species – the lone start tick and American dog tick.
Being aware of a tick’s home can help you avoid contact.
“They tend to be in more protected areas like tall vegetation and edges of woods where they are not exposed to direct sun,” said Vail.
If you do come face to face with a tick, Vail gives advice on how to handle that.
“The idea is no matter what tick you have on you, to get it off as soon as you can, grab where it attaches to your skin, pull with steady pressure, treat that wound.”
She says watch for flu-like symptoms because the tick could be infected.
“We have several different disease causing organisms that these ticks can carry and transmit to people,” said Vail.
Ticks and mosquitoes are a reality for so many of us who live for this outdoor weather and love to get up into the mountains and on the trails. Both ticks and mosquitoes you can protect yourself and your family from by using repellents and wearing clothes that cover the body. Mosquitoes are most active in dawn and dusk hours as they tend to be more active feeding during those periods of the day. Ticks are best avoided by avoiding tall grassy areas. They can’t fly through the air and land on you as mosquitoes do. The best they can do is fall on you. If you do go romping through some grassy areas then take time afterwards to check the family, and pets, for ticks.
So as you get out and about this spring be sure to take some quick precautions to protect yourself and your family from mosquito and tick bites.