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Don't Get Ticked

wood tick, photo courtesy of Gregory Scott

wood tick, photo courtesy of Gregory Scott

Tick season. The time of year when you're likely to be hiking and camping. [ticks -drawing] Ticks are tiny and flat and they are not insects. They are the largest of all mites and have eight legs compared to the six legs of an insect.

There are two kinds of ticks in Wisconsin, the deer tick and the wood tick. The deer tick sometimes carries Lyme disease and these ticks can infect you with their bite. Lyme disease can cause a ring-shaped rash, fever, flu-like symptoms and tiredness. (Some people think the rash looks like a bull's-eye.) Symptoms usually occur within a month of being bit by an infected tick. If you think you've been bitten and infected with Lyme disease, have your parent call a doctor.

You can help prevent tick bites by wearing hats, long sleeves, long pants and high socks with your pant cuffs tucked into the socks. Light colored clothing makes it easier to find ticks. You should also walk in the middle of mowed trails to avoid brushing up against vegetation. After a day in the woods, it's a good idea to do a "tick check" before going to bed.

With a little preparation and care, you won't get ticked off this summer or should I say you'll keep the ticks off.



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