Ticks out for blood this summer in Pennsylvania and Ohio - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Ticks out for blood this summer in Pennsylvania and Ohio

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AUSTINTOWN TOWNSHIP, Ohio -

Ticks are one of the tiniest signs of summer and as unwanted as they may be, they are expected to be out in big numbers this summer.

"Right now is the prime time to be checking for ticks and keeping your grass mowed so your dogs don't carry them into the house," said Mary Helen Smith with the Mahoning County District Board of Health.

Ticks, which are known for carrying a number of diseases including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, thrive in warm weather.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of Lyme disease cases. In Ohio, the incidence of Lyme disease, spread by the black-legged tick, has reached a 20-year high.

"The lyme tick is the smallest and hardest to find," Smith said. "You find ticks in high vegetation, dense weedy areas along trails, paths, fields, wooded areas, leaf litter. So, you should always check yourself."

If you do find a tick, there are proper ways to remove it. Use tweezers to grab it as close to your skin as possible. Pull the tick straight out, away from your skin and wash your hands and the bite site with soap and water.

"Then for the next seven to 14 days check that area to see if it develops a rash. If you develop some kind of rash, you should contact your physician," Smith said.

If you notice a tick imbedded in the skin of one of your pets, it's important to remove using the same methods you would for removing a tick from yourself. It's also recommended you call a veterinarian.


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