Last weekend we went camping and we pulled a little tick off my son. This was actually our second tick we’ve pulled in the last few weeks. Yes, tick season is upon us in East Tennessee. Because of our proximity to so much wilderness and wildlife ticks are of even more concern and vigilance for us.
Ticks are of real concern for our families because of the many diseases that can be carried and transferred by them. Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Fever have serious consequences if infected and not treated adequately.
Tips for Ticks
Local news checked in with Rick Gerhold a parasite expert at the University of Tennessee
Rick Gerhold studies parasites at the University of Tennessee. He says there are two common types of ticks in Tennessee, the Lonestar tick and the American Dog tick.
“Right now we’re not sure exactly where the tick population is going this spring, we definitely know they’re out. Our cold winter may have dampened it a little bit, but I’ve definitely pulled ticks off my dogs so far this year,” Gerhold said.
He recommends checking your pets at least once a day for ticks, and if you find one make sure you pull off the whole body.
“If you pull up real quick and jerk it up, what you sometimes can do is leave the mouth part of the tick in the animal and that can lead to a lot of issues, Gerhold said.
When checking your dog for ticks, he says to make sure to look inside their ears, and thoroughly check each of their paws. He recommends contacting your veterinarian for prevention and treatment options.
To help keep ticks off of yourself, Gerhold says to wear bug spray when you’re outside, keep your grass cut short and try to wear light colored clothing so they can be easily spotted.