Warm, wet Spring creates perfect condition for ticks - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Warm, wet Spring creates perfect condition for ticks

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MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -

If this wet weather continues it could be one of the worst seasons for Lyme Disease. Experts say the cool, damp conditions have caused strong tick activity.

Studies show the number of Lyme Disease cases in Central Wisconsin has risen during the last five years, mainly because of the weather.

Most ticks are found in tall, wet grass in wooded areas with a lot of brush or decaying leaves. Experts say if you or your pet are going to be outdoors, you want to be extra careful this summer.

"After you've spent time outside its important to do tick checks, to make sure you don't have any ticks on you," Epidemiologist Ruth Marx said.

Experts also say you should dress for extra protection when going outdoors. They say if headed out to a wooded area wear long sleeves or pants. And it doesn't hurt to use plenty of bug spray.

But what should you do if you do find a tick on your skin? Experts say remove it slowly using tweezers.

"If you need help it never hurts to contact a medical professional," Marx said.

Don't forget about your pets, too. Veterinarians say your dog or cat has a higher chance of getting ticks and getting sick than humans do.

"It's very important to use flea and tick medication. When you're choosing a product it's incredibly important that you choose something that kills and repels them," Dr. Lisa Koch said.

So as you prepare for those outdoor activities, remember these simple steps to keep you safe from this tiny insect.

For more information on protecting yourself from ticks check out these helpful links:

http://www.stopticks.org/prevention/

http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/News/PressReleases/2013/050913.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/on_pets.html

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