ticks

From left to right; lone star tick, blacklegged tick, and American dog tick.

The best method to prevent any tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease, is to do a daily tick check, according to Daniel Frank, WVU Extension entomology specialist.

“The longer a tick is attached, if it is carrying a disease, the more likely it is to the spread that disease, says Frank. “In the case of Lyme disease, they need to be attached for 36-48 hours.”

Frank advises people to remove the tick as soon as it is found, to prevent the spread of disease.

“To remove it just get some tweezers grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull upward. The idea is to try to get the mouth part out with the tick out to prevent infection.”

Frank also advises people to look for signs of Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness that is carried by the deer tick. Around 70-80 percent of people develop a rash when they are infected with Lyme disease.

“Basically it’s [the rash] a red ring around where that tick was initially at. You kind of get this red ring and red spot where the tick was attached.”

Some people infected with Lyme disease also experience flu-like symptoms.

“Generally 3-30 days after that initial tick bite, some individuals might get a fever, chills, fatigue, muscle pain,” says Frank

People should also take precautions when hiking or going into deeply-wooded areas, according to Frank.

“A good idea is to tuck your socks into your pants, tuck your shirt into your pants to keep the ticks off of your body,” says Frank. “Wear light color clothing so you can see them more.”