CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - If you're noticing more ticks this summer than in the past, you're not the only one. Many people in the Heartland say they think the number of ticks is up this year.
Pat Holloway with the Missouri Department of Conservation says the weather could be partly to blame.
"We have better foliage when we have wet years so that's going to attract more insects," Holloway said.
She says there are three kinds of ticks in Missouri, ticks that could carry diseases.
"The Lonestar tick, deer ticks, and dog ticks," Holloway said.
One Heartland woman says her doctor diagnosed her with Lyme disease after a tick bite.
Holloway says if you're planning on getting out on the trails or any other place outside, don't let ticks stop you. However, they do have some tips that will help keep you and your family safe.
Pat Holloway says before and after you go outside, take precautions.
"Use repellant and check yourself when you come in and I think you'll be okay," Holloway said.
Mother of three Amy Williams says she keeps an eye on tick bites and makes sure her kids keep feeling well after pulling the tick off.
"I do worry about that and especially with them being so bad this year, but definitely can't keep them outside that's for sure," Williams said.
Williams says she's also noticed more ticks this year.
"We walked about three or four miles and all got about five plus ticks on us," Williams said.
Health officials say if you do get a tick bite, make sure you keep an eye on it. If you notice anything abnormal or get concerned, make sure you call your doctor.
Here's a list of the symptoms you need to look out for if you or someone you know suffers a tick bite:
- red spot or rash near the bite site
- neck stiffness
- headache or nausea
- muscle or joint pain or patchinesss
- fever or chills
- swollen lymph nodes