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Time For A Tick Talk - Warmer Weather Means More Ticks

See the symptoms of tick born illness, as well as how to remove a tick.
Posted at 5:40 AM, May 28, 2024

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — Part of living in Colorado is being aware of the many creatures that live here. Warmer weather means more bugs out and about. There’s one in particular we’d like to warn you about. I've been researching ticks and the diseases they bring. They are all too common here along the front range.

The CDC says the most common symptoms of tick-related illness include fever, chills, aches, pains, and rash. If you notice any of those signs, see a doctor right away. They say there are over a dozen diseases transmitted by ticks, including Lyme disease.

Here’s how the CDC says ticks spread disease… first, they wait for a host, resting on tips of grasses and shrubs. When a host brushes the spot where a tick is waiting, it climbs aboard. That’s when it grasps the skin and cuts into the surface. They say the tick will then suck blood from the host for anywhere from minutes to days.

If that host has a blood borne infection, the tick will ingest it. The tick could then spread that disease to its next victim. The CDC says to avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter and to walk in the center of trails to help prevent a tick bite.

Marigny Klaber with El Paso County Public Health tells me outside isn't the only place you need to check for ticks. “If you’re camping often times the soft tick, which is what causes relapsing fever can be found in like those summer cabins or log cabins so if you’re using those spaces that aren’t typically used your round those are spaces that you need to be concerned about”

Klaber adds that tick checks should be a normal part of the day, especially after a hike. “Do an all over tick-check and the ticks like areas where they’re dark and tight so around waistband so areas like your waistband your belt area your belly button behind your knees under your armpits are some areas that you definitely want to be looking at.”

The CDC mentioned you can use insect repellents to warn off the little guys. If you are bit, they say to remove the tick as soon as possible. They say there are tick removal tools on the market, but a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers should work just fine.

There is also a resource on the CDC website called the tick bite bot. That can help you to learn how to remove a tick, and get info on health care if needed.

Email Reporter Jake Walker at jake.walker@koaa.com. Follow @JakeOnAiron Instagram and Jake Walker Media on Facebook.

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