Many people have no idea that a tick as small as a poppy seed can spread disease. I hear people all the time say that their pet doesn't need a tick collar (or repellant) as they can simply pluck the ticks off their pet or themselves when they find them. Really? Take a look at this photo:

CDC.gov

How many ticks do you see?  I will tell you that there are a number of them on that poppy seed muffin, can you find them all? (Find the answer below, but no peaking and please don't spoil it for others!)

The Center for Disease Control is hoping to warn people of the dangers of ticks to humans as well as their animals. Reducing your exposure to these blood sucking pests is your best defense against tick borne infections like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease.

Tick season is year round, although they are more common and active during warmer months, especially in Wyoming.  So as we prepare to head outdoors with family and friends, there are a number of ways you can help protect yourself and others from contact with ticks.

Ticks can often be found in wooded and brushy areas as well as in tall grassy areas, and Wyoming has plenty of both.

According to the CDC, to help reduce the possibility of coming into contact with ticks in your yard, be careful of how you landscape. Tall grasses and brush should be removed from your property.  If you really want to create a protective zone, create a 3 foot wide barrier of gravel or mulched wood chips to help give areas around patios and recreational areas and extra layer of protection.

Pesticides can be use to control ticks, but be sure to check with local health officials about any regulations related to pesticides on your residential property.

For your pets, be sure to check pets daily after they spend time outdoors and ask your vet to conduct a tick check at each exam. You an also ask your vet about any tick warnings for the state or your area.

As far as people go, using an insect repellent that contains at least 20 percent deet or other repellent on exposed skin that will last for several hours. Parents should always check children for ticks in and around their ears, belly buttons, hair, legs and arm pits. Showering within an hour or two of spending time in the outdoors will also help you wash off any tiny passengers before they get a chance to bite and embed into your skin.

For more info on ticks and ways you can protect yourself, family, pets and property, check out the CDC's website - CDC.gov

How many ticks did you find on that muffin?  If you said 5... you'd be correct!!  Take a closer look.

CDC.gov