CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — For anyone who likes to enjoy West Virginia’s wonderful outdoor activities, there is one type of tick that you should be especially careful to check for when you head back inside.
“Many individuals are bitten by ticks, but only black-legged ticks transmit the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease,” said the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reminded in a Facebook post on Sunday.
While all three types of ticks commonly found in the Mountain State can transmit bacteria, only the black-legged tick or deer tick are known to transmit Lyme disease. American dog ticks and lone star ticks are also found in West Virginia, according to the WVU Extension Service, but they do not transmit Lyme disease.
Deer ticks are about the side of a sesame seed when fully grown, according to the CDC, but also watch out for nymphal ticks, which are younger, harder to identify and about the size of a poppy seed.
If you do find a tick on you, you shouldn’t be at risk for Lyme disease if you find it early. According to the CDC, deer ticks need to be attached to a person for 36-48 hours to transmit the disease.
Remember, if you need to remove a tick from your body, do not crush it. Instead, the CDC recommends pull the tick off with clean tweezers, making sure to fully remove the tick’s mouth if you can. After removing it, clean the area with alcohol or soap.