HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) — Summer is in full swing; that means nice weather and spending time outdoors.
However, the season also brings with it some hazards—tiny creatures lurking in the weeds.
“Tick season is right now. We’re at the height of it,” says Kyle Slate, critical care paramedic with Cabell County Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
Ticks can be found pretty much anywhere outside. Locals say they are pretty common around the Tri-State.
“I haven’t seen any yet, but yeah definitely an area that you wanna be cautious about,” says Morgan Korn of Cabell County.
“Be on the lookout especially with your legs and socks, feet, sometimes even on your back and arms depending on what you’ve brushed up against. If you’ve been out in the woods, or just been out into a yard that isn’t managed well,” advises Slate.
If you do get a tick on you, health professionals say there is a right and wrong way to pull them off of you.
“There are a lot of wives tales about how to do that—how to get a tick off of ya. You can spin them around and make ‘em dizzy—ehh. You can use a match to heat ’em up and make ’em let go,” Slate says, “the best thing is to use a set of true small forceps and get ahold of the head of ‘em so that you can squeeze the head and pull ‘em out.”
It has to be the head, because:
“You don’t want to squeeze ’em by the body, cause then you’re squeezing whatever is in the tick into the person,” Slate explains.
This could lead to getting infected by diseases like Lyme disease, which can cause long term problems and even prove fatal if not treated.
Health professionals say you should see a doctor if you have redness at the site, swelling, fever, or nausea.
The best practice if you’re out and about is caution.
“Just to keep yourself covered when you’re outside,” Korn says.
In addition to that, check yourself head to toe when you go back indoors.
Health officials say you should check on your pets when they come inside, too, to make sure no ticks are hitching a ride inside.