Ticks are nasty little things - we've all found them before, either on our pets - or on us. And especially this season - we all need to be looking out for them. And unfortunately, just because it's small doesn't mean it's not dangerous.
"People can get very sick, many times it has symptoms of arthritis, where they get a lot of joint pain, they get very ill to where they can't function in some cases."
But Susan Lindberg of Little Falls Hospital says most of the time if treated, Lyme Disease won't be a problem. But that doesn't mean you don't need to be careful. She says ticks are especially prevalent this summer because of the mild winter.
"Ticks are many sizes, and it's hard to identify which type of ticks might be carrying Lyme disease," she says.
If the tick hasn't been on your body for more than 48 hours - you're usually safe. Lindberg says you can remove the tick with tweezers or other device, and can get it tested just in case. It's a common misconception if the head is still left in the body - it's dangerous. She says not to worry, it will eventually fall of like a scab. If it's been there more than 48 hours - you must bring tick- and yourself in - to get tested. Also look out for a target like rash on your body - that could mean you have Lyme disease.
The best advice to protect yourself? Wear high socks, keep a close eye on your pets, always check your head and take a shower.
Lindberg says, "Use a washcloth or scrunchy or something that will rub your body... ticks will usually wander around the body for quite a while before they find a place where they're going to attach, so if you do shower shortly after you're out in the woods it'll prevent exposure in the first place."