LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Warmer weather is typically the go ahead for Arkansans to get outside and enjoy all that our beautiful state has to offer. But, before you do, don't forget to grab the tick repellant because the time has also come for the crawlers to get out in full force!
May through October are the prime months for ticks. While Lyme Disease isn't native to Arkansas, Rocky Mountain Fever is a popular tick related illness, along with Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, and Tularemia. These sicknesses took the lives of five Arkansans alone in 2012.
Dr. Susan Weinstein is the public health veterinarian for Arkansas and said the cooler spring could lessen ticks this season. Ticks tend to move slower, and people are outside less in the cooler weather.
The best ways to avoid tick bites is to stay out of tall grass outdoors and wear repellent when outside. When you take your pets outside, make sure to check them after and groom regularly. Wearing light colored clothing also helps spotting the ticks if one happens to jump on you.
To remove a tick properly, use clean tweezers to grab the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull the tick straight up at a steady pace, and avoid twisting and turning. Clean the bite afterward, and be sure to monitor the area. If any bite causes fever, headache, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, or a rash, go and see a doctor as soon as possible.