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Prevent infectious diseases by avoiding tick bites

Alise Besco and Jonann Noftsger went for a walk at Purple Martin Lake in West Des Moines. They also brought their dog Harper, but returned home to some scary company. “We came home with 25 ticks, all small,” Noftsger said. “It was bad.” Noftsger and Besco said they typically find one or two ticks a year, so they were surprised to find more than two dozen after just one outing. The increase in the number of blood-sucking insects could be due to this year’s unusually warm winter. This gave ticks more time to reproduce, meaning more people and pets could be bitten this spring. May and June are peak tick season, according to Dr. Ryan Smith, associate professor of plant pathology, entomology and microbiology at Iowa State University. What we’re dealing with right now are some remaining adult ticks…that have survived over the winter, and then there are also nymphs or juvenile stages that have also survived the winter and are starting to emerge ” Smith said. He also said that ticks can attach themselves to hair or clothing and then wander around. “Ticks can actually crawl up to your head where they can ultimately reside and that’s somewhat problematic because they are also harder to see,” Smith said. After hiking or being near tall grass, people should remove their clothing and check carefully for ticks. “If you find a tick, you need to try to remove it as quickly as possible,” Smith said. “The quicker you remove the tick, the less likely it is to transmit disease and, like Lyme disease, you want the tick to stay on you for about 30 hours.” Smith also said it’s important to remove the entire tick to prevent disease. . “It’s important to remove mouthparts that are embedded in the skin. Because if they’re left in place, they’ll continue to pump saliva into the wound, and they can still potentially transmit even if you’ve removed most of it » » Download the free KCCI app to get updates on the go: Apple | Google PlayGet the latest headlines from KCCI

Alise Besco and Jonann Noftsger went for a walk at Purple Martin Lake in West Des Moines. They also brought their dog Harper but returned home to some scary company.

“We came home with 25 ticks, little ones,” Noftsger said. “It was bad.”

Noftsger and Besco said they would typically find one or two ticks a year, so they were surprised to find more than two dozen after just one outing.

The increase in the number of blood-sucking insects could be due to this year’s unusually warm winter. This gave ticks more time to reproduce, meaning more people and pets could be bitten this spring.

May and June are peak tick season, according to Dr. Ryan Smith, associate professor of plant pathology, entomology and microbiology at Iowa State University.

“What we’re dealing with right now is remnants of adult ticks…that have survived over the winter, and then you also have nymphs or juvenile stages that have also survived the winter and are starting to emerge,” Smith said. said.

He also said ticks can attach themselves to hair or clothing and then wander around.

“Ticks can actually crawl up to your head where they can ultimately reside, which is somewhat problematic because they are also harder to see,” Smith said.

Smith said after hiking or near tall grass, people should remove their clothes and check carefully for ticks.

“If you find a tick, you should try to remove it as quickly as possible,” Smith said. “The sooner you remove the tick, the less likely it is to transmit disease and something like Lyme disease requires that tick to be on you for about 30 hours.”

Smith also said it’s important to remove the entire tick to prevent disease.

“It’s important to remove mouthparts that are embedded in the skin. Because if they stay in place, they will continue to pump saliva into the wound, and they can still potentially transmit even if you have removed most of the mouthparts. tick.”

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