With more people in the U.S. spending time outdoors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts at the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) are urging alertness of ticks, especially because tick diseases and COVID-19 share similar symptoms.
Below are the most common tick species found in the U.S.:
- Lone star tick
- Blacklegged (deer) tick
- Rocky Mountain wood tick
- American dog tick
The NPMA recommends wearing long sleeves, pants, light-colored clothing, and insect repellent with at least 20% diethyltoluamide (DEET) when heading outside. The association also said to stay in the center of trails, away from the vegetation where ticks tend to live, and to check the body for ticks once indoors, remembering that ticks can be quite small when not engorged.
If a tick is spotted, remove it immediately. Also, wash the bite site and monitor for symptoms, calling a healthcare provider if the person feels ill or a rash develops.