TAMPA, Fla. — If you're spending extra time outdoors this summer or even if your pets are out a lot, it's likely you could come across a tick. It's good to know what to do if you find one, especially if it's stuck to you or your pet.
Ticks are actually with us all year round here in Florida because they love the moist, warm weather. However, spring and summer are when we notice them more because that's when we are spending so much time outside.
So, what kinds of ticks do we have here?
Michael Bentley with the National Association of Pest Management breaks it down.
"There's four that really jump off the page. That's the black-legged tick, the lone star tick, the American dog tick and the brown dog tick."
The black-legged tick is the culprit behind the spread of Lyme disease. However, Bentley says that's not the only health problem ticks can cause.
"In a very small percentage of cases, folks that are bitten by lone star ticks have a unique reaction to the proteins in the saliva of the tick bite that leads to a medical condition called the red meat allergy."
You should check for ticks anytime you've been outdoors, especially near tall grass and trees.
Ticks like to hide along your scalp or any place on your body that has a natural seam or crease.
"It's really important that you use fine tip tweezers and you grab the tick at the very base of its mouthparts. That's right where the tick meets the surface of the skin and you lift straight up."
The best way to prevent ticks around your home is to keep leaves, tall grass and brush cleaned up. If you plan to go for a hike or a walk on one of our beautiful nature trails, wear long sleeves, pants and a hat. Once you get home check those clothes you were wearing, then shower as quickly as possible.
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