CDC uses poppy seed muffins to help raise awareness about ticks

CDC uses poppy seed muffins to help raise awareness about ticks (Photos courtesy of the CDC)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Centers for Disease Control is using poppy seed muffins to show people just how small ticks can be.

You have to look close, but in photos posted to Facebook on Wednesday, you can spot five tiny ticks on a muffin.

Tick exposure can occur year-round, but ticks are most active during warmer months (April-September).

The CDC offered tips to help prevent tick bites, which can transmit bacteria that cause illnesses, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

First, know where to expect ticks. The CDC says they live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas, or even on animals. Spending time outside walking your dog, camping, gardening, or hunting could bring you in close contact with ticks. Many people get ticks in their own yard or neighborhood.

If you’re worried about coming in contact with ticks, you can treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin. It can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear and remain protective through several washings. Additionally, you can use (EPA)-registered insect repellents. Learn more about them here.

After you come indoors, check your clothing. Any ticks that are found should be removed. Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors. If the clothes are damp, additional time may be needed.

Showering within two hours of coming indoors has also been shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease and may be effective in reducing the risk of other tick-borne diseases. Showering may help wash off unattached ticks and it is a good opportunity to do a tick check.

Click here to learn more.

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