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How to Slow Down Ticks on Your Property - And on You

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Albany/HV: How to Slow Down Ticks on Your Property - And on You
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Most of the country suffered a cold, snowy winter and you might think that ticks would have had a hard time surviving. That is not the case.

"The snow acts like an insulating blanket to the ticks. It keeps them warm it and protects them," said epidemiologist Bryon Backenson of the New York State Department of Health.

While they are most commonly found in the northeast part of the country, they are spreading. Up to 25 percent of the ticks found in the spring are infected with lyme. By the fall, that number nearly doubles.

"I never saw a tick on my body. I never had the classic bull's-eye rash," Clover Schwartz.

She also did not have lyme disease, according to the blood work, but she did. Schwartz is now recovered but it took six months of doxycycline to get better. Her mind is now on prevention and that can start by protecting your yard.

One product is granular, and the other, you can spray on bushes and shrubs. If you are worried about the chemicals, there is diatomaceous earth, which can be more expensive.

Repellents are effective but not all work on ticks.

"Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 35, or 35 which is Avon Skin So Soft, those are ones that are good for mosquitoes but not necessarily for ticks," Backenson said.

If you do find a tick remove it with tweezers, without irritating the tick, grab it at the base near the skin and quickly pull it straight up.

"It's not uncommon for the front part of the tick, the jaw, the biting element, of the tick to be left in the skin, don't worry about that you can always remove it later like you do a splinter," said Dr. Joe Domachowske, infectious disease specialist.

If you have noticed a tick that has been feeding a while, talk to your doctor to discuss a short term course of antibiotics as a safety precaution.

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