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Deer Ticks Established in Nebraska for the First Time

Posted at 6:51 PM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-26 19:51:54-04

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Neb. — The summer season brings heat, flourishing nature and unfortunately for the first time in Nebraska, deer ticks.

"Deer ticks is a specific species, they're also called the black-legged tick. They're established in more of the Eastern part of the United States and with the climate change and stuff they've tended to move more Western," Russel Hadan from the Douglas County Health Department said.

Deer ticks carry Lyme disease and other diseases as well.

If you have symptoms of fever, headache, fatigue and a skin rash,go to a medical professional as soon as you can.

"The doctor would know to test for Lyme disease at that point," Hadan said.

If you've found a tick on your body, try to get it off of you quickly.

"They should take a pair of tweezers, get down by the head, pull the tick off, monitor that location just to make sure there's no swelling any kind of rash," Hadan said.

The tricky thing with ticks is they are small sized, making them hard to spot on the body. The Douglas County Health Department recommends being cautious and aware when going hiking camping or going on a trail.

"Long-sleeve pants or long-sleeve shirts, stuff like that would help. Tuck the pants in over your shoes that way the tick can't get in," Hadan said.

These ticks come in different sizes, the smallest one, called a nymph, is the hardest to spot, making it the most dangerous.

"The nymph stages are really tiny, you're talking the head of a pin or something, they're pretty small. The adult stage you can definitely see but a lot of people don't see the nymph stage when they're on you and that's where you can acquire the Lyme disease," Hadan said.

Ticks can latch on to your pets as well.

"Pets and animals, there's definitely the possibility that the tick can attach to them, especially the nymph and then fall off in the house," Hadan said.

"We keep Front Line on them all the time, Front Line Plus, and it's a good preventative for fleas and ticks," a local resident, Skip Sivils, said as he walked his two small dogs at a park.

"Bathe them as well you know you go out for a hike or something why not and give them a bath, that way you can remove any small ticks that they have on them," Hadan said.

"But we check them thoroughly all the time, they're our boys," Sivils said.

Health officials say deer ticks have only been identified in Sarpy, Douglas and Saunders counties. However, the likelihood they spread to other countries is high, so make sure to still take preventative measures when walking through tall grass and in the woods.