Updated: May 9, 2013 10:46PM
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State health officials are cautioning Indiana residents to protect themselves from disease-carrying ticks now that the outdoors season is in full swing.
Ticks are parasites related to spiders that attach themselves to humans and animals and feed on their blood. They can spread Lyme disease and other illnesses.
State veterinary epidemiologist Jennifer House says ticks can be removed with tweezers or forceps by grasping the tick as close to the skin as possible and pulling upward without squeezing the tick.
She says people should check themselves for ticks after venturing into grassy or wooded areas. The best way to avoid ticks is by wearing long-sleeved shirts and light-colored pants with the shirt tucked in at the waist and the pants tucked into socks.
Using repellents can provide even more protection.