Ticks are becoming more of a problem and urgent care is seeing an increase in patients. Rochester Regional Health says they are seeing on average two patients a day at each facility with tick-related concerns.
The mosquito squad started treating for ticks in early April. “The weather has not been very cooperative,” said owner Joe Koval, “But we get out there when we can.”
Once the temperature gets above 45° Fahrenheit the ticks start coming out of their hiding places looking for a blood meal. This is also when the Mosquito Squad starts to spray and lay traps for a worsening problem.
“We’ve seen more and more ticks every year for the last seven years,” said Koval. Warming winters are good for ticks. “Grass piles, leaf piles, they’re just not freezing anymore so they’re becoming breeding areas.”
Koval uses tick tubes that use a soft chemical put on cotton balls in a tube. These are fine to even touch by hand. They get picked up by mice that use them to nest. No harm to the mice, but it kills all kinds of ticks and tick larvae.
It is important to keep the lawn low and clear of debris to help reduce areas ticks can hide and breed. After being outside, according to Dr. Scott Allan, it is important to check every inch of your skin as bites are not painful
“You don’t notice them until you see them,” said Allan, medical director of Rochester Regional Health Immediate Care, “Either when you’re taking a shower, or you see them in the mirror.”
If you find one sucking your blood, timing is everything. If it is longer than 24 hours there is a chance for Lyme disease. If it is shorter than you will be in the clear according to the CDC. Tweezers are the best method for a home removal. “Get at close to the tick as you can, slow and steady pressure, and just pull the tick off,” said Allan.
Otherwise Urgent/Immediate Care can help. If you have got symptoms, like a bullseye rash three to thirty days after a bite you will need a doctor. If you show up with a tick bite, urgent care does not test the tick for Lyme disease, saying the test is unreliable and will not impact how they treat the patient.