BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–Just days away from the start of summer there is growing concern about ticks in this area.
Dr. Robert Warren knows this is the time of year to watch for ticks.
“I think a lot of times we see an uptick in ticks because we get going (outside). They can handle pretty cold weather. They’re tough as little tanks. I would say right now, it’s been such a nice moist spring they’re probably doing really well,” Warren said.
The tiny bugs can carry Lyme Disease if they burrow into your skin seeking blood. They can grip onto you as you walk through heavy grass or brush.
“They can get in the plants and they just hang out waiting for your clothes,” Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said. “In the spring we have both baby ticks and the adult tick , so the little ticks are very little actually the size of a poppyseed so they can be very difficult to detect so you have to really look closely.”
Once they get on you, Ticks often get into the crevices if your skin so your advised, if walking in the woods, to wear long sleeves and long pants or if possible wear tick repellent.
“You want to make sure you have 20% or more of a concentration of DEET on the insect repellent that you use. Spray it on all exposed area of your skin, hands first and then on your skin,” Burstein added.
If you do find a tick embedded in your skin, it’s best to try to remove it gradually with tweezers, so the legs don’t stay in your skin.
“You want to wrap the tweezers around the tick and tick it back and forth pulling up slowly and loosening their legs and mandibles from your skin,” Burstein said.
Even if one is in your skin for a short time it doesn’t mean you’re at a high risk for Lyme Disease, but consult your doctor if you have questions.
Burstein says, “we believe that usually if you’re able to remove the tick in less than 48-72 hours because it takes the tick some time to actually transmit enough of the bacteria for people to get infected.”