AKRON -- Mild weather allows disease-carrying, black-legged ticks to move into Northeast Ohio.
They may be small, but they could pack a mean punch. They're ticks and, according to the Ohio Division of Wildlife, this is going to be a banner year for the bloodsucking arachnids.
Anyone who goes outside is at risk for making contact with ticks. The black-legged tick, along with the Lone Star tick, a usual residents in southern Ohio, have moved North.
They are bringing Lyme disease with them.
If you are bitten by a tick, they must be attached 24-36 hours in order to pass the infection along.
A rash will develop within weeks to months that looks like a red target or bullseye. Other symptoms of Lyme Disease include joint pain, fever, fatigue, and, possibly, mood swings and depression.
Preventing ticks from bothering you is pretty easy. Dress in dark clothing, long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Over-the-counter insect repellants work to deter the ticks, but for hard core outdoors folks, there is a recipe you can soak your outer layers of clothing in.
It is a permethrin-based mixture. You can buy 10 percent permethrin solution at farm or feed stores.
Here's the recipe:
- Mix 1 ounce of 10 percent permethrin solution with 15 ounces of water.
- Stir the mixture well. Take your outer laters of clothing and roll them up, binding them with rubber bands.
- Place them in a large, two-gallon resealable plastic bag. Pour the solution over the clothing and let sit for two to twelve hours.
- When done, hang garments to air dry in a well ventilated area.
Whenever using insect repellants, always follow directions for use, especially when it comes to kids.
If you have symptoms of Lyme Disease, contact your physician. It is treatable with antibiotics and early detection is the key.
For more information on Lyme Disease and ticks, you can check out the Ohio Department of Health website or the American Lyme Disease Foundation website.