While people are exploring the outdoors, it is important to understand a possible danger that is as small as a poppy seed.

“We don’t want people to be afraid of going outside, but being able to protect themselves and take precautions to prevent those tick bites. Knowing what ticks look like, knowing where they live, is just ways that you can protect yourself from getting bitten,” said Breanna Adams, Director of Environmental Health Services at the Erie County Health Department.

Ticks can be found anywhere, but are most common among wooded areas.

“It will climb up on a blade of grass or a shrub, any vegetation that’s within the woods line. It will hang out on the edge of that plant material with their legs kind of sprawled out and they just lay and wait,” said Brian Gula, Environmental Education Specialist at DCNR.

The lone-star tick, dog tick and the deer tick, also known as the black-legged tick, can be found in our region. Only the deer tick carries Lyme disease.

Repellants are just one way to protect yourself from ticks, along with wearing long pants, shirts and socks. Plus, check yourself while you are in the woods.

If you are bit by a tick, the Erie County Department of Health advises that you remove the tick as soon as possible by using tweezers to pull firmly on the head of the tick in a steady, upward direction. Clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

Erie County Department of Health offers free tick identification. To bring in a tick for identification, place in a plastic bag and bring to 606 W. Second St. from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. You are asked to call 814-451-6740 for details.

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“We are happy to put it under a microscope, look at it here, and let you know the type of tick that it is and if it could carry Lyme disease or any other diseases. We can tell, potentially, how engorged it is or how long it might have been feeding on you,” Adams said.