Staying safe during tick season guide

Chloe Ward, Reporter

 From early spring to late fall, ticks are one of the most dangerous pests in Maryland, with over 1,000 cases of Lyme disease each year in the state alone ( However, with the proper precautions, you can protect yourself from harm. 

     Lyme disease is an illness only spread to humans through ticks and can cause a variety of symptoms. These can include short-term ones such as migraines, fatigue, or fevers, but can spread to joints, the nervous system, and other severe symptoms if left untreated. People who have experienced the late stages of Lyme can have issues speaking, controlling muscles, and arthritis ( 

     It especially affects those young, old, or with already existing conditions that may be worsened by the illness, possibly ending in death. But even if you do not have predispositions, it can still be highly dangerous. There are other diseases too, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, and so on.

     Ticks are typically found in tall grass and sometimes trees, depending on the time of the season and the area. They are usually about 1/8 of an inch long and brown but can be extremely hard to spot. 

    The most important step to protection is to make protection a part of your daily routine ( Get the basic methods and checks ingrained in your head so you never have to worry about the dangers. 

     There are repellents you can use to prevent ticks from being attracted to you, but make sure what you use is proven to be effective. According to the CDC, the product used should have around 20% DEET, an active ingredient in repellents. 

     Another way to protect yourself is by knowing the area around you. When hiking, “be wary of woodpiles, leaf litter, rock walls, beach grass,” etc. ( They hide mostly in small, dark, warm places. You can still go in these areas, just make sure to take other precautions and know what you may deal with.

     “I try to make sure to wear tall socks or long pants depending on the weather so I don’t have to deal with ticks. Just for extra protection, you know. A hat also helps because of long hair” says Junior Grace Herron, who has had to inevitably deal with ticks, living in Harford County. It is recommended that you wear long sleeves and pants if you live in a bad area, even if it is hot out ( Light-colored clothing can also help since ticks are dark and can be easily spotted. 

     The final precaution is to check regularly for ticks. Check hair thoroughly, especially if it is long, and take notice of any small bumps. Check as much surface area of your body as you can, especially in crevice areas. A change of clothes is also recommended if possible. To take it off if you should find one, grab the head with a pair of tweezers, pull it off, and dispose of it carefully.  It does not take long, just a quick inspection, but it could save a lifetime of issues.