RHINELANDER - It's another sign spring is here, but not one that's quite as fun as fishing or enjoying the sunshine... we're talking about wood ticks.
Story By Lyndsey Stemm
As much as we love the onset of spring and the reappearance of the sun, this time of year also brings out one thing we're not so happy to see... wood ticks.
They hide under leaves, in the grass and on branches. And at the height of the season they practically rain down from the treetops.
The last few years Wisconsin has seen an increase in Lyme Disease.
"In 2010 there were 3,495 cases of Lyme Disease in Wisconsin, and that was up 35%," says Anne Ovsak, Assistant Director of the Oneida County Health Department.
The tick removal remedies we heard from our facebook friends ranged from drinking pickle juice, to burning them off.
"My mother would basically screw it out, you know, grab 'em and twist 'em out backwards. Or hit 'em with a match head; a hot match head once you blew it out," says Mitch Mode, Owner of Mel's Trading Post.
"I actually did grow up with burning it; taking a match, lighting it and then Mom sticking it to your skin and watching that tick back out," says Greg Graves, store manager at Mel's Trading Post.
But the health department and the CDC say the simplest method is best.
"The recommendation is to really just use a tweezers and remove it. By putting anything on it you could actually have the tick release more bacteria into your body," says Ovsak.
But there are a lot of measures you can take to prevent the bit in the first place.
"Without a doubt the Permethrin is the most effective. It's sprayed on the clothing, and it will last a minimum of two weeks," says Graves.
Another good tip is to stay on the trails when you're walking through the woods, rather than blazing your own path through thick vegetation where ticks just love to hang out.
"It's always a good idea to tuck in shirts. Tuck in cuffs and socks," says Graves.
It's important to remove a tick immediately, and keep an eye out for symptoms of infection.
"The most common sign you'll see is that bull's-eye rash that starts, headache, fatigue, arthritis-like joint pain," says Ovsak.
Make checking your kids over for ticks part of your nightly routine, so they can stay safe in these warm months to come.
For more information see the CDC link below.
CDC Tick Tips