MILWAUKEE — Tick season unofficially started at the beginning of May, making now the best time to learn best practices when dealing with the creepy critters.
Dr. Susan Paskewitz is an Entomologist at UW-Madison and specializes in vector borne diseases like Lyme Disease. Dr. Paskewitz explained to WTMJ that there are a myriad of ways to stay prepared for ticks and their bites.
However, the way you prepare for ticks looks different depending on what you are trying to prevent. Dr. Paskewitz said that if you are someone who is in to recreational activities then you can start by preparing your clothes.
“If you’re going to be hiking in woods, you can wear a repellent. So that would be something like DEET, or there are a few others that also work really well,” Dr. Paskewitz said. “If you’re out in an area and it didn’t look very ‘ticky’ to you and then all of a sudden you get into some woods, you might consider tucking your pants into your socks, and rolling down your sleeves.”
If you aren’t much of a recreational activity person but you are out in your yard often, the preparation looks a little different. Dr. Paskewitz says that if your yard is up next to a wooded area, then you’ll most likely encounter more ticks as you venture closer to that area.
“It’s recommended that you put down like a wood chip barrier almost in that area. It doesn’t have to be very wide, but it sort of serves as a visual reminder that past that, your risk of encountering one of these ticks goes up pretty dramatically,” Dr. Paskewitz said.
Dr. Paskewitz also recommends using pet-safe pesticides on your lawn to help prevent ticks venturing closer to your home. If you are against using pesticides, Dr. Paskewitz also mentioned “tick tubes.”
These are an over the counter product that helps prevent host animals that may live near your yard from transporting ticks onto your property.
If you do happen to get bitten by a tick, Dr. Paskewitz recommends using “The Tick App.”
“It’s actually part of a research study, so you would have to enroll in the study, but The Tick App has a lot of great information about ticks. It also will allow you to take a picture if you find something that you think might be a tick and send it to us for identification. And then we’ll give you feedback. We try to do it within 24 hours so that if we think it’s something where you might want to talk to your healthcare provider, you can do so quickly.”
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