Ticks have invaded the region and spreading disease - WPSD Local 6: Your news, weather, and sports authority

Ticks have invaded the region and spreading disease

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WILLIAMSON COUNTY, IL - The long and harsh winter we had did not deter the ticks from showing up in full force.

Springtime in Southern Illinois means picnics by the lake, walks through the refuge and for Shane Martinez, it also means some big fish!

He and his buddies spend the spring and summer fishing at Crab Orchard Lake.

"Nice scenery, enjoy it quite a bit," said Martinez.

The fish are biting...and so are the ticks.

"I always wear jeans and boots and I'll spray Off on my pant legs," said Martinez.

He says he worries about disease when he is out in the refuge and the last thing he wants to do is bring ticks into his home to his family.

"I try to check myself, take my pants and shirt off outside, try to change out there," said Martinez.

Carrie Eldridge with the Bi-County Health Department says Martinez is on the right track.

But she says it is not just the type of clothing you wear, but the color.

She suggests wearing light colors, like white.

Eldridge says ticks like to hide where it is warm and moist.

The longer they stay attached to you, the more likely they are to spread disease.

After a day outside, if you happen to find a tick you should use fine-tip tweezers to remove it.

"Get as close to the skin as possible," said Eldridge.

She says burning ticks off is an old wives tale.

You should also wear an insect repellant containing deet or permethrin, but repellant's containing permethrin should only be used on clothing.

Do not forget that ticks like to jump on our pets, too.
It is important to get your outdoor animals treated and check them thoroughly.
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