Tick awareness at forefront with warm-season arrival

With school out for summer, there comes a word of caution to be on the lookout for ticks.
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 10:34 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - With school out for summer, there comes a word of caution to be on the lookout for ticks, especially in tall grass including along nature trails. K-State Extension Ornamental Horticulture Agent Matt McKernan said during a stretch from March to October, Kansas typically sees four kinds of ticks, varying in color a size.

“One is going to be the lone star tick, one is the American dog tick, the other is a brown dog tick and the other is a black legged tick, or sometimes the deer tick,” McKernon said.

Humid, wet weather we’ve experienced lately in south central Kansas gives ticks prime conditions to thrive, typically in tall grass areas.

Dr. Stephanie Kuhlmann with Wesley Medical Center Pediatrics said if you notice rashes, a fever, aches or swelling resulting from a bite, you should get checked out by your doctor and keep track of the date you may have been bitten.

“If you do develop symptoms in the next 30 days or couple of months, it’s important to think back and provide that history to your physician or medical provider so that we can keep that in our thoughts and differentials when we’re treating acute illness during the summer months,” Dr. Kuhlmann said.

If a tick laches onto you, Dr. Kuhlmann recommends instead of pulling with your fingers, using tweezers, getting close enough to the skin, then pulling upward. After that, you should clean with bite with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

She said antibiotics can treat most tick bites, but the key is recognizing when you have a bite.

“It’s really identifying those and starting treatment as soon as it’s identified,” Dr. Kuhlmann said.