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They really TICK me off

The warmer weather has inspired many of us to spend more time outdoors. These warm days make raking the yard, hiking or just taking a walk more enjoyable, but with the warmer days the pesky ticks start emerging.

Montana Ticks can carry many diseases including, Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, Lyme disease, Colorado Tick Fever and Tularemia. It may take several hours of attachment before organisms are transmitted from the tick to the host. Ticks can also lead to bacterial diseases in your pets. The pet could have a fever, pain in the joints, paralysis and death if treated to late.

Following these 3 steps can help reduce problems with Ticks:

1. Limit your exposure to heavily infested areas, especially in the spring and early summer. Avoid bushy overgrown areas and tall grasses.

2. Wearing light colored clothing so ticks can easily be seen, long sleeved shirts, pants and close-toed shoes. Ticks will crawl up your pant leg so tucking your pants into boots or high socks is recommended. Also using a repellent that indicates it works well against ticks helps keep them away. Many repellants contain DEET and can be applied to the skin or on your clothes. SPECIAL TIP: If you are in an area with ticks, remove clothing and put in washer immediately.

3.Frequently inspect yourself, children and pets. Examine the head and hairline closely and other spots especially around the waistline, under arms and groin areas. Do not panic if you find a tick (easier said than done). Pull the tick out with a slow steady pull using tweezers. Don't try to remove ticks with hot objects or matches and using alcohol and Vaseline to suffocate the tick are not effective. Record the date of the tick bite,W

put the tick into a plastic bag and freeze in case you become ill.

My mom always told me that if I licked the horses salt block that I wouldn't get ticks. I have done this for years and am happy to report that I have never had a tick on me. There is no scientific evidence that this works and I'm sure it comes down to luck on my part. My husband gets several ticks on him per year and follows all the prevention tips except limiting his exposure to heavily infested areas. We are diligent about inspection of ourselves, dogs and horses.

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