Aspirus Media Center

Tick Season is here

Take precautions to keep yourself safe


 Ticks are smaller than you think but they can pack a big bite. They’re dormant in the winter and emerge when the snow disappears which means they’re ready to catch a ride on their next human or animal.

 Ashley Johnson is a Nurse Practitioner at the Aspirus Tick-Borne Illness Center in Woodruff where they provide advanced care to diagnose, control and treat tick-borne illnesses. She says there are three main types of ticks in our region, Deer Ticks, Wood Ticks and the Lone Star Tick.

 “The Deer Tick is responsible for transmitting Lyme Disease,” said Johnson. “It is a smaller tick and has a burnt red body. The Wood Tick is larger and responsible for transmitting Ehrlichiosis as well as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. The Lone Star Tick is not very common and it is responsible for transmitting Ehrlichiosis and alpha-gal syndrome.”

 In order to prevent tick bites, you want to prevent them from getting onto your skin. Some tips include:

 Tuck your pants into your socks

  • Wear tall boots if you’re going out into the woods
  • Use bug sprays with at least a 30 percent Deet concentration
  • Perform daily tick checks anytime you’re done spending time outside
  • Throw your clothes in the dryer for 20 minutes on high heat which will kill any ticks that are potentially on your clothes
  • Treat your pets, especially dogs that sleep in the beds, as they’re a high risk for bringing ticks into the home 

 Removing a tick can be challenging and there are several options to extract them. Tweezers are effective and it’s important that you don’t squeeze the body of the tick. Place the tweezers at the head of the tick perpendicular to its body and pull straight up until it releases from the skin. Tick removal tools like the tick twister and the tick key can help to remove a tick without squeezing the body or irritating the tick.

 One of the most common signs of Lyme Disease is the bullseye rash. “It is not the only sign of Lyme Disease but if you do develop the rash it is diagnostic of Lyme Disease so you should seek treatment,” stated Johnson. “Other signs and symptoms of Lyme Disease include joint pain that moves around, fever, headache, fatigue, muscle pain, brain fog, tingling and numbness.”

 May is National Lyme Disease Awareness Month and aims to spread awareness of how to prevent Lyme and tick-borne diseases. Anyone looking for more information on tick-borne illness care or services to treat tick-borne illnesses can visit the Aspirus website.


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