Ticks Swarming the Mid-South

Ticks Swarming the Mid-South

Shelby County doctors are warning you to be on the lookout, with the Mid-South in the worst tick infestation they've seen in years.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Shelby County doctors are warning you to be on the lookout with the worst tick infestation they've seen in years.

Jeff Farrell loves to fish at Shelby Farms, but even on sunny days he's wearing long sleeves and pants.

"I'm here everyday, five days a week, sometimes seven days a week. I check myself every time I get home, take a shower, I'm very cautious," he said.

It's exactly what Dr. Mark Castellaw, Medical Director of Baptist Medical Group, encourages.

"Last week, literally, one room after another was a tick bite for a lot of different reasons - people at the lake, hunting in the woods, out in their backyard."

He says a mild winter coupled with an early spring caused ticks to flourish. Now people are picking them up everywhere.

It takes 24 to 36 hours for an attached tick to expose its victim to Lyme disease, so early removal is the key.

As for how to remove a tick, Dr. Castellaw advises, "The proper way is to get tweezers with a fine point and grab the tick around the head and extract it that way. That's the safest way you can almost guarantee that you get all the parts of the tick."

If you notice red or inflamed areas around where the tick was extracted, see a doctor immediately. To keep the ticks away in the first place, wear bug spray with DEET anytime you're outside.

You also want to check your pets closely and make sure to take them to the vet if you think they've been bitten by a tick.

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