The Weather Is Cooling Down But Ticks Are Still Hanging Around
The New York State Department of Health is warning New Yorkers that tick season isn't over yet.
Ticks stay active until the temperature drops below 40 degrees, so even though we have had cooler weather that doesn't mean tick season is done quite yet.
New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker wants New Yorkers to take the proper precautions, but not to be so scared of ticks that you avoid going outdoors completely.
"This should not deter you from partaking in all the outdoor activities that our beautiful state has to offer this fall, as long as you remain vigilant," said Zucker. "While you are outside taking advantage of hiking, hunting and leaf-peeping, or even raking leaves, it is important to take the time to protect yourself and your family against ticks and tick-borne illnesses."
Recently a case of Powassan virus was discovered in Dutchess County. The virus is rare in NY, but there were four total cases in 2017 prompting the Health Department to remind citizens to be extra careful.
Here are some tips to help protect yourself from ticks and tick-bourne illnesses:
- Wear light-colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily, as well as enclosed shoes, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants.
- Check clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors.
- Consider using insect repellent.
- Stay on cleared, well-traveled trails. Walk in the center of trails. Avoid dense woods and bushy areas.
- Bathe or shower as soon as possible after going indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that may be on you.
- Do a final, full-body tick check at the end of the day (also check children and pets), and remove ticks promptly.
You can find more information about the right insect repellent for you and your family, and what to do if you find a tick on you or your pets at the NY State Health Department Website.