Vector Control teaches the public how to avoid the thick of tick season

(KTVL/ Kimberly Kolliner)

For the first time in nearly 20 years, Jackson County Vector Control is surveying the ticks in our region to test for disease percentages.

Vector Control Manager and Biologist, Jim Lunders, says it’ll help provide the public with concrete numbers so as to help bring disease awareness.

"Lyme is difficult to treat so the best thing you can do is prevent getting it," said Lunders.

The way to do that is to watch out for Ixodes pacificus, the western black-legged tick, because although they're tiny...their reach is mighty.

"A good portion of this valley once you get out of this valley floor once you get to the oak trees, it's that ticks habitat," said Lunders.

Meaning while enjoying the beautiful outdoors - when we usually are without a care in the world - there still is one care that should remain.

"If you're on a trail you really want to walk down the center of a trail and avoid the vegetation on the side," said Lunders.

Since the ticks are waiting for any passersby.

"Basically like, if you had a piece of grass up here, they grab onto as you walk by," said Lunders.

A single piece of bladed grass can have three or four ticks resting on it, usually on uphill trails.

It’s why tucking in your pants to your socks and your shirt to your pants will help keep them off of your skin, as will this:

"You can use an insect repel and containing DEET or permethrin on your clothing," said Lunders.

And for further peace of mind, Lunders suggests giving your clothes a wash and a dry.

"Particularly the tick that's out right now is the tick that carries Lyme disease so this is a really important time for people to protect themselves,” said Lunders.

The hope is to have concrete percentages of disease-ridden ticks in our region by the end of the year.

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