BLACK HILLS, S.D. — Two types of ticks that spread disease are the wood tick, which are rare in the Black Hills, and can infect with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and deer ticks – that can carry Lyme disease.
Early detection and removal of a tick on your body is best to ward off disease.
Patrick Wagner, Entomology Field Specialist with the SDSU Extension, says, “If you are out and about, and you’re outside or whatever hiking, and you come back and you get those ticks off of you within I think it’s about a 24 hour period there, that if you get them off before that, then your risk of transmitting disease from a tick is fairly low that way.”
If you find a tick embedded in your skin, use sharp pointed tweezers to grab it by the mouth parts and pull out. Don’t pinch or squeeze it or you could potentially squeeze the contents of the tick back into the wound. Make sure to wash and sanitize the area after removal. And make sure the tick is dead before disposing of it.
Also be on high alert around moist and shady areas, Wagner says, “definitely if you are near water, you have a higher chance of getting one of those hitchhikers on board.”
You can help to ward off ticks by wearing long sleeve shirts and long pants while in long grass areas. You can also apply permethrin to your clothes, a contact insecticide that kills ticks and other insects upon contact.
Also make sure to check dogs and your clothing after you take it off for any crawling around.
Ticks like to hide out in hot spots on the body like the scalp, ears and underarms (just to name a few).
Repellents with DEET are great for tick protection, but ask your doctor about using DEET on children.
Mosquitoes are another pest to worry about as they can carry the West Nile virus. Your chances of contracting the disease may be based upon what time of day you get nipped.
Wagner says, “The most common species that carries West Nile here in South Dakota is nocturnal, so if you are out at night, and get bit by a mosquito at night, your chances of getting West Nile definitely increase, you wouldn’t really expect it if you got bit during the day.”
Mosquitoes breed in water, so dump any standing water each day and refill fresh – like kiddie pools and bird baths.
Call your health care provider if you become ill with flu like symptoms and a rash which are indicators of the diseases mentioned.
to keep track of disease by the SD Dept. of Health.