Missouri conservation officials are urging people headed outdoors to take precautions against tick bites.
Insect repellants and covering up are two steps that can help. Officials say long-sleeved shirts, pants and securing pants cuffs are the first defenses.
People should check for ticks after returning indoors and shower quickly to remove unattached ticks. Putting clothes in the dryer on high heat before washing should kill any remaining ticks.
Ticks can spread various diseases, including Lyme disease, Rock Mountain spotted fever and tularemia. Most tick-transmitted diseases require prolonged feeding. To remove a tick, use a tweezers and grasp it as close to the skin as possible. Don't jerk or twist the tick when removing and clean the bite area.