News reports are revealing that ticks are on the rise early this year due to the mild winter, coupled with the extremely warm temperatures that we have been having. As you are planning outdoor activities and hiking trips, it is recommended that you wear long pants and long sleeves, along with insect repellant (if you are not sensitive to it). It is also a good idea to check yourself for ticks when you return from a wooded area and in the case of hiking trails, try not to veer off of the beaten path into the woods; rather, stay on the trail as much as possible.
Furthermore, if you can avoid wooded areas such as tree shrubbery, excess leaves and tall grasses altogether, you will be in good shape. Ticks are carriers of Lyme disease and anaplasmosis, bacteria that are exclusive to this species. They also carry a parasite called babesiosis. If you get bitten, it is recommended that you use tweezers to pull the tick out by its mouth and refrain from “twisting” them out for fear of leaving mouth parts under the skin.
Take precautions this year and to be on the safe side, check yourself regularly for ticks when you return from outdoor events. For more information on this topic, follow this link.