Be prepared for ticks when venturing outside - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Be prepared for ticks when venturing outside

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As you head outdoors this summer, wildlife experts are asking you to be prepared to encounter ticks. Valley News Team's Mellaney Moore traveled outdoors today to learn how to keep your skin from crawling. 

14-year-old Austyn Boyum is spending the weekend camping with his family at Buffalo River State Park in Glyndon, MN. While he loves spending the time outside, there's something in the back of his mind.  

"I had Lyme Disease once. It was just a little tick. I had it behind my ear. It just stuck on there and found it about a week later," says Boyum.

That's why experts are asking everyone to be prepared. Andrea Wakely works as a naturalist at the park. Her job takes her off the paths daily. She took about a two minute walk and came back with a few hitchhikers.

"I had about three ticks on my pant leg," says Wakely.

It's a common myth that ticks are going to come from trees. Actually, you're going to find them in places with tall grass and ground vegetation.

"Anytime you go camping or hiking, wear the proper gear, bring the proper equipment and that includes bug spray, tall socks, pants, maybe even long sleeved shirts," says Wakely.

There are eight most commonly encountered tick diseases, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. If you do walk away with a tick, the Center for Disease Control recommends using a tweezers to grip the tick as close to the skin as possible and gently pull. Then wash the area and your hands.

Boyum says he went to the doctor right after finding the tick and now he's a little more careful.

"I don't really want it to happen again, so I just kind of check a little bit better everywhere," says Boyum.

Wakely recommends staying on the paths when you're outside. She says clearing leaf litter and cutting your grass can help keep ticks away from your yard.

If you'd like to know more about those diseases and when to call a doctor, we have a link for you under the hot button at www.Valleynewslive.com.

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