Spring rains and warmer temperatures make conditions right for ticks in Texas. Dr. Pete Teel with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service said ticks are an ever-present part of living in Texas.
“We’re now entering the peak host-seeking time when immature ticks are on the move seeking hosts. Regardless of what happens now weather-wise, I predict this will be a banner year for tick bites on humans, pets and livestock,” he said in a Texas AgriLife news release.
Mild weather encourages more outdoor human activity, both recreational and occupational. This increases the risk of tick exposure and transmission of tick-borne disease.
Teel advises to:
1. Avoid areas where you know there are ticks;
2. Wear long pants tucked or taped into boots;
3. Wash clothes that may have been exposed to ticks;
4. Use repellents containing DEET to prevent tick attachment;
5. Conduct regular tick checks of yourself, children and pets; and
6. Remove ticks properly.
“It’s important Texans learn the common signs of tick-borne diseases for their own wellbeing and that of their families, pets and livestock,” Teel said. “If you’ve been bitten by a tick or even if you think you could have been bitten, seek medical treatment if you begin to experience flu-like symptoms including a fever, headache or if you ache all over. Tell the doctor that you suspect you may have been exposed to a tick-borne disease. And finally, if at all possible, save the tick by placing it on a damp paper towel in a container in your refrigerator, so it can be submitted for testing to http://www.unthumanid.org/Tick/Testing/Testing.cfm.”