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Nothing beats being outdoors and enjoying the summer weather with your loved ones. Unfortunately, bugs, especially ticks, are more active in the summer too. You’ll find ticks in areas between wooded and tall, grassy areas, such as lawns and gardens. They wait for potential hosts on the tips of grasses and shrubs and grab onto them when they pass by. Don’t worry, ticks can’t fly or jump!

Treating areas in your yard with tick pesticides can help reduce the amount of ticks. However, if you have health concerns around using chemicals, you can do other things to help avoid contact with ticks –

  1. Mow the lawn often
  2. Keep playground equipment, decks and patios away from the edge of your yard and trees
  3. Place a 3-foot wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas.

How to Prevent Tickborne Illnesses

People usually don’t notice tick bites because ticks can produce small amounts of saliva with painkilling properties. This allows the tick to suck the blood slowly for several days, which means they can give as well as receive diseases.

To help keep from getting a tickborne illness, try to –

  • Wear repellent. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has an online tool to help you with choosing the repellent that is best for you and your family. Visit
  • Check for ticks daily. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror. Parents should check their kids under the arms, in and around the ears and inside the belly button.
  • Shower soon after being outdoors – within two hours is best.

Symptoms of a tickborne illness

See your doctor right away if you have been bitten by a tick and experience any of these symptoms –

  1. Fever / chills:
    With all tick-related diseases, patients can experience

    a fever at onset.

  2. Aches and pains:
    Symptoms include headache, fatigue and muscle aches. With Lyme disease, you may also have joint pain.
  3. Rash:
    The most common first sign of tick bite is a red rash, which spreads out from what looks like a bug bite.

For more information about tick-related illnesses, visit

avoid ticks

How to Remove a Tick

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends ​AVOIDING remedies such as nail polish, petroleum jelly and heat to get the tick off.

The goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible, here’s how –

  1. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick to get as close to the skin’s surface as you can.
  2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the tick’s mouth-parts to break off and stay in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
  3. After removing the tick, clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub or soap and water.
  4. After the tick has been removed, check the bite area for a few weeks. If a rash develops, see your doctor. Be sure to tell the doctor about the tick bite and where you most likely encountered a tick.
  5. Dispose of a live tick by submersing it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag / container, wrapping it tightly in tape or flushing it down the toilet. Never crush a tick with your fingers.