As the weather gets warmer, people start spending more time outdoors.  The problem is that there are more bugs outside too.  There are more and more ticks these days...how can you avoid them?

I've never bought into the "there are more ticks this year than last year hype." I've lived in the country all my life and I hadn't ever seen a single tick on me.  I played football, helped the local farmers with hay, and was always running around in tall grass.  Never saw a tick...

Last year though as I was getting ready for a party around Memorial Day, I saw a tick on my body for the first time.  So I guess I'm a little more conscious of them.

But if there are more and more, how can we avoid coming into contact with them?

According to The National Library of Medicine, there are a few things you can do:

1.  Avoid tick infested areas.  Especially tall grass and hay in fields.

2.  Chemical repellant does work.  Make sure you use one with DEET, permethrin, or picaridin.

3..  Wear light colored protective clothing.  Wear long pants when going through tall grass and hay.

4.  If possible, tuck your pants into your socks to avoid having an opening for ticks to climb onto your skin.

5.  Be sure to check your kids, your pets, and yourself daily to be sure that if a tick has gotten onto you that you remove it quickly.

If you do get bitten by a tick, Maliha Ilias, Ph.D., Lyme Disease Research Program Officer in NIAID's Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases says not to panic.  Simply remove the tick as quickly as you can.

"I think the most important thing for folks to know is that if they find the tick on themselves, don't panic," Dr. Ilias said, noting that it typically takes 36 hours for the bacteria that causes Lyme diseases to travel from the tick gut to its salivary glands and into the host.

Dr. Ilias also says people should become familiar with the symptoms of Lyme Disease and adds that it can be treated if it is diagnosed. quickly.