NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - This is peak season for ticks. Experts warn this year could be especially bad thanks to a mild winter among other factors. New Yorkers are bracing themselves.
Frequently checking on yourself and your children is one of the best things you can do to prevent Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, according to Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician Lenox Hill Hospital.
"This is the time of year when ticks start adhering, they feed off early morning and also late night, so after dinner, if they go out you've got to check them when they come back in," he said.
So what should you do if you find one? Dr. Glatter said to have a medical professional remove it, if at all possible.
"In general we don't want people doing this at home because often times they come to us when they didn't fully get the tick out of the skin," he said.
Depending on how long the tick has been on you, a doctor is likely to prescribe antibiotics.
While the biggest risk for ticks and Lyme disease is in wooded and suburban areas outside of New York City, the city's Department of Health said some deer ticks have been found in parks on Staten Island and in the Bronx and some of those ticks tested positive for the bacteria that causes Lyme.
"It is not common to get, basically, Lyme disease in New York City," Dr. Glatter said. "Can it happen? Yes, it's possible. Lyme disease is everywhere in the world."
Prevention is the best form of protection. That means wearing long sleeves and pants, light colors, and bug repellent, and doing diligent checks.