Johnson City, Tenn. (WJHL)- After a warmer than usual summer and above average rainfall for the year, you’ll need to be aware of a possible increase in ticks as you spend time outdoors.
Here in northeast TN and southwest VA, the three ticks most responsible for disease transmission are the Black Legged tick, Lone Star tick, and the American Dog tick, which can transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
When spending time outdoors, there are ways you can avoid ticks, like wearing protective clothing and staying away from tall brush.
More people headed outside during the COVID-19 pandemic could mean more reports of tick problems. James Mason, who is part of Virginia Tech’s Department of Entomology, explains, “People might go less to the mall and spend more time hiking outside, and if you were to spend time hiking outside you have a higher chance of coming into contact with ticks.”
It’s important to check on our pets for ticks as well after spending time outside. Sarah Francis, an associate vet at Companion Animal Hospital in Kingsport, says it can be fairly simple to remove.
“If you’re not super squeamish and feel comfortable making sure that you’re using a pair of tweezers and getting down at the head , as close to the skin as possible and fully removing it, I would go ahead and do that. “
The quicker you address a tick bite on yourself, or pet, there is a lower the chance getting a tickborne disease.