A blood-sucking, parasitic monster has appeared in droves all across Tennessee; ticks.
Experts believe that the perfect storm of conditions has been formed to allow for a boom in tick population this season. The recent mild winter allows for ticks and other bugs alike to emerge earlier and thrive, and a lack of acorns also contributes to this explosion of tick populations.
What exactly are ticks? Ticks are small arachnids (the biological classification that includes spiders) that feed off of blood. They typically live in wooded areas or areas with high grasses. Ticks commonly carry diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
To avoid ticks, stay away from overgrown vegetation and tall grass. Before adventuring, it is also smart to spray yourself with DEET(the active ingredient in insect repellent sprays) containing repellent, and wear long pants to lessen the chance of ticks grabbing onto you. It is always smart to check your whole body for ticks after a day outside, especially if you were in tick-prone environments.
If you happen to find a tick on you, grab a pair of tweezers and remove the tick from your skin, cleaning the bite area with soap and water. If possible, put the dead tick in a container to show to your doctor as soon as possible to learn what action needs to be taken based on the type of tick that bit you.