Steer Clear of Ticks During Springtime Strolls

Photo: Heiko Barth/123rf

With the warmer weather on the horizon and families spending time together, a walk on one of the many East End trails is a lovely way to pass the time (provided everybody follows social distancing rules) during the quarantine. But it’s important to keep health and safety in mind during these walks, and that includes avoiding ticks.

“It’s been great being able to get outdoors for a walk these past few weeks but don’t forget to practice your tick safety!” says Brian Kelly of East End Tick & Mosquito Control. “While you’re outside, remember that ticks aren’t practicing ‘social distancing.’ This winter was very mild, therefore ticks are already active and searching for their first meal of the season and we don’t want any co-infections with Lyme disease and COVID-19.”

Dan’s Papers contributor Dr. Rina Meyer offers a few guidelines for tick safety. “Always wear long pants, tucked into your socks and shoes,” she says. “Also wear long sleeves, light clothing and avoid areas that are completely off the trails.” If you do come into contact with a tick, Dr. Meyer says, “If the tick is crawling on you, push it off. If the tick is on your skin you have to be very careful when removing it—don’t leave the head behind!” Adds Kelly, “Check yourself daily, always after being outdoors—and don’t forget your furry friends!”

If you think you’ve been bitten, Dr. Meyer says it’s important to advocate for yourself. “Call your doctor immediately,” she says, and reminds of Lyme disease symptoms: bullseye rash, joint pain and fever.

For more information on tick safety and Lyme disease prevention, visit the CDC’s website and East End Tick & Mosquito Control.

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