Tick season is supposed to be especially bad this year, and those blood-sucking bugs are bringing diseases with them that could land us in the hospital.

Warmer weather brings out ticks as the dormant adults start feeding again, and May seems to be the month that they start appearing in huge numbers.

There are some big reasons this year to watch out for ticks.  Not only are those blood-sucking bugs gross, but those little things also have the power to cause some huge problems for adults, kids, and pets.

Lyme disease is the biggest concern with ticks, and that can start out with fatigue, rash, and headaches, and if it's untreated it can progress to the nervous system and really wipe a person out.  Avril Lavigne talked about her struggle to recover from Lyme disease after contracting it in 2015, and she said she couldn't even get out of bed for about two years.  Could you imagine?  Insect repellent can reduce the risk of getting Lyme disease, and wearing clothes that cover skin if you're going to be in a wooded area.

Consumer Reports said May through August is peak season for catching Lyme disease, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that's not the only worry with ticks.  They can carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and a whole host of other diseases too, and most of the diseases usually lead to fatigue, fever, and a really tough recovery.

If you do get a tick bite, the experts say removing the tick quickly is key.  This is disgusting, but when I was growing up, my dad would pick ticks off of our dogs and smash the fat ones with a hammer.  I think the reddish-brown marks are still on the driveway at my parents' house in Nebraska.  If we start with bug spray, the ticks won't bite in the first place and we can do other things with our free time besides have a tick-smashing party.

It's fun to be outside in Texas in the spring, but there are some unpleasantries that come with it. Here's hoping the experts are wrong this season, and that the bloodsuckers stay far away from us.  And my hammer-wielding dad.

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