Lurking in Tall Grass, a Hidden Danger Awaits

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Hiking in the woods is a fun activity for many people, and it increases in popularity when the seasons begin to beautifully change. But being outdoors brings with it an increased risk of tick-borne illnesses. Different species in different regions of the country are responsible for a variety of extremely serious diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis and tick paralysis.
Lyme disease is typically the most worrisome as nearly 20,000 Americans are diagnosed every year, according to the Infectious Disease Society of America. Most cases of Lyme disease occur in late summer and fall months when people are more active outdoors. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a non-profit committed to the protection of public health, food and property, urges families to take extra measures to protect themselves and their pets from tick bites. Blacklegged ticks, often called “deer ticks,” can carry the Lyme disease bacteria.
As people take part in outdoor activities, the risk of being bitten by a tick increases. Avoid tick bites by following these preventive guidelines from the NPMA.
* When in an area where ticks are common, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, preferably light-colored so ticks will be easy to detect.
* Tuck pants into socks.
* Use a tick repellent.
* Upon returning indoors, inspect clothing and your entire body, including your head, for ticks. Don’t forget to check your family members who may have been out with you and/or your dog as well.
* After spending time in a tick habitat, it’s a good idea to take a shower because it will afford you the opportunity to thoroughly inspect your entire body.
* Wash clothes immediately.
* Keep grass cut low, including around fence lines, sheds, trees, shrubs, swing sets and other difficult-to-cut locations and remove weeds, woodpiles and other debris from the yard.
* Inquire about lawn tick treatments; especially those that focus on the edges of the lawn where it interfaces with natural areas. This method has the greatest chance of preventing ticks from establishing themselves in your back yard.
* Pet owners should speak to their veterinarians about preventative flea and tick treatments, as these can help to deter pet pests and kill ticks on contact/upon being bitten.
For more pest control and management tips, visit www.pestworld.org.

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