It’s Tick Season in Kentucky…What to Know
I've been sitting here all day praising the phenomenal weather we are currently enjoying. (Since I'm not sure when you're reading this, it is late on the afternoon of April 5th with a temperature of 73 degrees. Magnificent.)
But with all the amazing weather comes little eight-legged creatures that are the OPPOSITE of amazing.
Yes, tick season is upon us and now that they've had a good long rest they're ready for action, much to our dismay.
There are five species of ticks indigenous to Kentucky and, for my money, that's five too many, but let's get into it, anyway.
The deer tick is a carrier of Lyme disease in addition to a list of ailments with names that are longer than my arm. The Lone Star tick is the one that creates the red meat allergy, or alpha gal. The wood tick can carry with it a form of spotted fever called rickettsiosis. The Gulf Coast tick (what's it doing in Kentucky?) also brings the threat of rickettsiosis. So does the brown dog tick. But that one--just like its name indicates--is more of a problem for canines, although it CAN bite humans.
Look, they can ALL bite us. They're ALL ticks. They're ALL disgusting.
You probably know the drill by now, but a refresher isn't a bad idea. To protect yourself against these disease-carrying arachnids, it's a good idea to treat your outdoor clothing with the proper repellent, like DEET; get in the shower immediately after being outside in tall grass or under a lot of trees; throw those outdoor clothes in the dryer and crank it up to the highest setting and let 'em cook for about ten minutes; and then wash them in hot water.
Also, don't ever just yank a tick out of your skin because the head will stay in there.
Additionally, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife says you DO have about 24 hours between the time of the bite and the risk for infection. So take all the precautions and self-examine and have a safe and happy spring and summer.