Ticks Are A Common Concern in the Summer

Lynchburg, VA- Start checking yourself after you go outside. Ticks are at their peak from April to June.

The longer they are stuck on you, the higher your chance of catching a disease. Ticks will wait in trees to find a warm blooded mammal to feed on, so if you are outside at all this summer, you really should be checking yourself daily.

Despite the brutal winter, the ticks are out in full force.

Eric Day, Manager of the Insect Identification Lab and the Dept of Entomology at VT, said "It didn't actually knock back the tick populations by very much because ticks over winter in a protective place either on a host animal such as a deer or in a lot of these cases on mice and small rodents or in protected places like leaf litter. So unfortunately we don't really get a break by having a cold winter," said Eric Day who is the Manager of the Insect Identification Lab and the Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech.

June is when the ticks have reached full maturity. In this area there are two common types: seed ticks, which are the tiny ones, and the Lone Star Tick, which is most common.

"It's named after that white dot on its back and in the Lynchburg area it's the most predominant tick," said Day.

Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are two common illnesses ticks can carry. Deer ticks, the ones that carry Lyme Disease are not as common, but that doesn't mean they aren't here.

"It's smaller than the Lonestar tick, it has black legs and that will help identify," said Day.

"If you can get them off within 24 hours, you're not likely to get Lyme Disease and the other diseases that they carry," said Steve Simpson who is the Environmental Health Manager, Central Virginia Health District,

If you have been bitten and have flu like symptoms, you should see a doctor right away.

"If you don't realize you have it and it goes for months or a year it can be very hard to get rid of and have some very nasty effects," said Simpson.

Eric Day says widespread spraying is not very effective when it comes to tick control.

He says the best thing you can do is mow weedy areas and tall grass to help reduce the chance of ticks hiding out.