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Ticks: A Growing Concern

QUEENSBURY -- Risks of ticks increase during the late spring and summer months, but it is a growing concern all year round.

Holly Ahern, a professor of microbiology and human anatomy at Suny Adirondack says there's no such thing as "tick season," ticks are active all year round.

"When the temperature is above 30 degrees, those ticks are active," says Ahern.

What you should know about ticks:
-Ticks are relatives of spiders.
-Ticks live in wooded areas, brushy fields, and around your home.
-Ticks survive by eating blood from their hosts.
-Ticks can pass infections from one host to the next, including humans.

For tips on how to properly remove ticks, and/or repel ticks with DEET or Permethrin, click here.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also recommends taking a shower as soon as possible after coming back indoors. Another recommendation is to put your clothes in a dryer on high heat for at least an hour, this will kill any lingering ticks.

Conducting a full body tick check is also really important. Parents should check their children for ticks under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and especially in their hair.

"You can't rely on finding every tick. The deer tick that spreads lime disease and other diseases is miniscule," says Ballston Spa veterinarian, Dr. Erik Andersen.

Veterinarians also say you should examine your pets every time they come inside, and take advantage of the vaccines and tick preventatives that are available.

"Dogs are very susceptible to tick bites and tick-borne disease, there are products and vaccines that can help avoid those bites," adds Andersen.

There are ways to tick-proof your yard:
-Clear out any moist and shady areas.
-Clean up leaf litter and keep your lawn short.
-Select plants and shrubs that are not attractive to deer.
-Know tick hiding places and check them frequently. Fences, bricks walls are examples.
-Call the professionals. They have barrier sprays that can kill live ticks on the spot.

For more information on avoiding direct contact with ticks, or the diseases they are associated with click here.
 
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