JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Arkansas reported some of the highest numbers of tick-related illnesses in the United States, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.
In 2012, more than 900 cases of tick-related illnesses were reported. Five of those people died.
Andrew Kosinski has an allergic reaction to tick bites, and the insects create problems for the horses his family raises. "Tick bites that we get on them is actually really bad because it's hard to groom the horse over them, and sometimes the bites will get scratched. They don't really feel it, but still if you're doing horsemanship you want the horse to look the best and the bites affect that," he said.
The ADH offers several tips on how people can protect themselves from the insects that are active all year in Arkansas, especially in spring and summer.
-Avoid tall grass and dense vegetation
-Tuck pants into socks or boots
-Use repellents that are no more than 30 percent DEET
-Use permethrin on clothes and gear
-Wear light-colored clothing that make ticks easily detectable
-Bathe within two hours after being in areas where ticks are found
"I burn a lot of citronella candles, and they say to eat a lot of garlic. Whether that actually helps or not, I don't know," Kosinski said.
Tick bite symptoms to look for include fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, muscle or abdominal pain, vomiting or a rash.