LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - When most people think of spring, they usually think about pollen and allergies. There is something else lingering out in nature that can have a bigger impact to your health.
Nearly 60,000 cases of tick borne diseases were reported last year, according to the CDC. However, there are measures you can take to keep you and your furry friends safe. Avoid areas with high grass and leaf litter and use EPA registered insect repellents containing deet.
When you go inside, check your clothing, your body and your pets for ticks. They're slow moving creatures, they will latch onto you or your clothing if you rub into the vegetation they crawl on.
Most tick bites are harmless and don't need medical treatment. But some ticks like the deer tick, wood tick, and others can carry harmful germs that cause diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.
If you find a tick, just remove it as soon as possible using fine tipped tweezers and thoroughly clean the bite area. Preserve the tick in alcohol and write down the date. If you develop symptoms, it will be easier for your care provider to determine if you're at risk for certain diseases.
Experts also advise showering within two hours of coming indoors which may help wash off unattached ticks.