Gnats are everywhere, and so are ticks.... -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Gnats are everywhere, and so are ticks....

(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
Ben Tallent (Source: WALB) Ben Tallent (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)

We're just two weeks away from summer, and pest experts say we could expect to see an increase in tick populations.

So what does that mean for you and your health?

They're small. And they're everywhere.

"The size of the end of your pen," said Ben Tallent of Arrow Exterminators. "They're just hanging out there on a piece of grass, or a on a limb, or a leaf, or whatever.  And they're waiting for the first dog or human to come by, and just latch on."

Tick season is upon us, and now's the time to act. The weather could be a reason for the growth in the tick population.

"We had no winter," Tallent said. "I mean there were a couple days maybe I think I wore a jacket. So there wasn't enough cold weather to take care of things like it usually does, and then the humidity has been crazy."

Tallent says it's all about being proactive-- taking the necessary precautions to keep ticks off your body and outside your home.

"The main thing is making sure you keep your yard cut and keeping the bushes trimmed back off the house."

And if you have to be outside, remember to wear more than just tick repellent.

"Wearing long sleeved shirts if possible, light colors.  Wearing light colored shorts or pants when you're outside.  That way, if you're out there, you can see them when they get on you.

And if your pets spend time outside, it's important you check them as well.

"Just running your fingers through their hair or whatever just to make sure.  And get tweezers to get them off with," Tallent said.

Because it's not just the ticks you should be worried about, it's the possible diseases they carry. Certain types of ticks found in our region include the American Dog Tick, the Black Legged Tick, the Brown Dog Tick, the Gulf Coast Tick, and the Lone Star Tick. 

All carry diseases like Rocky Mountain Fever, Powassan Disease, and Lyme Disease.

Tallent says while they can treat your yards and the wooded areas that surround your home for ticks.. it's still a threat that's not easy to spot. 

"As far as coming out here and inspecting for ticks, that would be like finding a needle in a hay stack."

If you think you may have ticks on your clothing after some time outside, throw your clothes in the dryer on high heat for about 10 minutes to kill them.  Tallent says if you suspect a tick infestation, call an exterminator. 

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