OK – here we go. Another spring and with it the ushering in of a new tick season. Hard to know if from reading the news if this season is particularly bad (scan the news and you’ll see that yes, but with headlines like “The Great American Tick Season” let’s assume the news says we are in far a particularly bad season), but easy to say that one tick on a loved one or a pet is one too many.

So a few gentle reminders about what you can do to help get in front of this tick season.

Check your loved ones frequently. Yourself, your kids, your pets… Ticks are looking for a host and pretty good at finding host to hitch a ride on to your property, and ultimately in to your house. As you engage in outdoor activities be sure to regularly check your loved once. Start at the legs and work your way up to the head. When in the head spend time both visually and physically examining the entire scalp as ticks are tiny…

Be safe. In the event that you find a tick during this tick season be sure that you are safely removing of and disposing the tick. While instinct might want to kick and and say get that sucker out of my loved one as soon as possible, make sure to use tick removal best practices. If you are in doubt about best practices we recommend reading the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for tick removal.

And finally, be vigilant this tick season. That includes regularly spraying your loved ones with tick repellent, potentially limiting time around tick prone areas such as underbrush, and also considering options to treat your property to mitigate for ticks.

While all this is floating around, certainly also take the time to smell the flowers and enjoy the spring season. While ticks are certainly an ongoing concern for us all, hopefully these tips will help you and your loved ones overcome what looks to be a particularly strong tick season this year.

From left to right: The blacklegged tick larva, nymph, adult female and adult male.

Image Courtesy of Fairfax County via Flckr