If you're summer plans includes a lot of outdoor activities, be extra careful of ticks. A Kansas State University tick expert says in some places, you can be exposed to one a minute.
"Many people believe that ticks fall out of trees. That's a myth. They do not do that. It just doesn't happen that way," explained KSU Parasitologist Dr. Michael Dryden. "What happens is these ticks get on us and they crawl upward. That's their natural tendency, they crawl up and they move up and what they do is they keep crawling until they hit bare skin.
Ticks carry deadly diseases for both humans and pets. To protect yourself:
- Apply insect repellant to your shoes, socks and the inside of your pant legs. Then, tuck your pant legs into your socks.
- Check yourself daily for ticks.
You may just have to avoid heavy exposure areas during the summer.
"It's generally going to be a fairly heavy tree canopy with good vegetation underneath that. Generally near some type of water source, a pond, a lake, a river so there is adequate humidity, adequate moisture and adequate wildlife that are in that area and the ones that we really concern ourselves about, basically the heavy tick carriers, are white-tail deer and turkey," explained Dryden.
Dryden has helped develop several tick control compounds for pets. He suggests consulting your veterinarian about the best type of tick management product.