Next time you’re enjoying the great outdoors, just imagine all the ticks that are probably crawling around in your proximity, chomping at the bit to latch on. That may be a bit too Daytime Emmy but ticks can be very dangerous and it’s important to know how to protect yourself as well as your pets.

The CDC puts a tick’s feeding process eloquent, “The tick breaks the skin and inserts its feeding tube. Many species also secrete a cement-like substance that keeps them firmly attached during the meal.” Guess who’s the meal.. You.

As the weather continues to warm up, more ticks will be rearing their ugly heads, some riddled with Lyme disease. While it is treatable, it can cause longterm illnesses for people. Here’s how you keep yourself protected:

  • Check every surface of your body thoroughly and frequently; even the deep, dark places you yourself don’t even want to venture
  • Check your pets
  • Use┬áDEET
  • If you find one on yourself or a pet, remove the tick with either a lighter or tweezers. Keep the tick in a plastic bag in case you notice symptoms of Lyme disease (rash or fever).
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