ABC News is reporting that this year's unusually mild winter, and the early onset of warm temperatures, is coming with a nasty downside -- an explosion of ticks. But what ticks should you be sure to watch out for?
"There are different kinds of ticks," said Dr. LuAnn Labian with the Traverse Area Pediatric & Adolescent Clinic. "Small ones are the black-legged tick or 'deer tick.' This is the one that carries Lyme disease."
Dr. Labian said the tick must stay on the body for 36 hours to transmit Lyme disease. She added that after you or your kids have been out in the woods (or tall grasses), you should inspect the body (kids especially), and remove ticks.
"Pay special attention to the head, armpits, and the groin area," said Dr. Labian. "Wear long pants and a long sleeve shirt light in color so you can see ticks."
Dr. Labian also said you can tuck your pants into your socks as a barrier and use tick repellent on your clothing. She said when using repellent (like Deet), don't use it on children younger than two months.
"I don't really like this stuff on little kids under two years old," said Dr. Labian. "Try oil of lemon eucalyptus or on clothing, Permethrin."
To safely remove a tick, Dr. Labian recommends using fine-tipped tweezers.
"Get on the head of the tick as close to skin as possible, and pull up," said Dr. Labian. "Then thoroughly wash."
Dr. Labian said removing the tick prevents Lyme disease if it's there less than 24 hours. Pet owners, she reminds you to check your animals and use tick repellent!
To learn more about preventing and removing ticks, click on the video above.
If you missed last week's House Call, we discussed meningitis. Click
to learn more.
For more information on the Traverse Area Pediatric & Adolescent Clinic, click
or call 231-421-8099.