Tick season is upon us, WA State Department of Health says

SEATTLE — As warmer weather approaches and people start spending more time outdoors, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has shared their tips and tricks for avoiding ticks this summer.

Ticks are small blood-feeding parasites known to pass on certain diseases, such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme disease. There are four tick species commonly found in Washington that are known to bite and transmit diseases to people. Alpha-gal syndrome, a red meat allergy, can be caused by a certain kind of tick not native to Washington, but if you travel to eastern or southeastern U.S. you may be at risk of exposure.

According to the DOH, some tips for avoiding a tick bite include:

  • Knowing where to expect ticks
  • Wearing appropriate clothing
  • Using tick repellent
  • Checking clothing and gear 
  • Showering soon after being outdoors
  • Checking your body and your child’s body thoroughly for ticks
  • Not forgetting to check your pets as well

The Department of Heath encourages anyone who encounters a tick to safely remove it and place it in a crush-proof container to send to them for identification. Check out the Tick Identification Submission Form and follow the instructions on the form for how to safely remove, handle, and ship the tick.

Later this spring, the DOH and the Washington Tracking Network plan to release an interactive map to see where people have found ticks in Washington state.

For more tips and tricks for ticks, you can visit the Washington Department of Health webpage for a section all about these pesky pests.

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