When "The Tick" premiered on Amazon in 2016, it seemed unlikely that the public would bite.
But with 10 more episodes slated for 2019, it looks like The Tick, a super-resistant superhero who dresses in a tick costume, has taken up residence in enough TV-viewing homes to be a keeper.
Unfortunately, ticks are like that.
Areas with specific tick infestations are expanding. In the past 13 years, the number of reported tick-borne diseases has more than doubled in the U.S.
You may be familiar with some of them, such as Lyme disease. But from 2004 through 2016, seven new tick-borne germs that can infect people have been identified.
On top of that, some ticks are especially fond of your pets. One example is the so-called dog tick, which carries Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report identified a new variety — the brown dog tick — that has sickened untold canines as well as 4,000 peoples since 2008 in Mexicali, a city on the southern side of the U.S.-Mexico border.
As this critter migrates northward and moves indoors, it's spreading a Rocky Mountain spotted fever infection that's more aggressive than the standard American dog tick's.
So whether you are in the Southwest, a mountainous region, New England, or the upper Midwest, you need to protect yourself from ticks. Here’s how:
• Use an Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellent (think DEET); find one at EPA.gov.
• Outside, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Put DEET on your clothes, too.
• Examine yourself carefully whenever returning indoors, especially your legs.
• Examine pets daily and remove ticks carefully with tweezers.
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