LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – It’s tick season in Arkansas, and Baptist Health infectious disease specialist Dr. Amanda Novack warned the highest risk comes from the woods and tall grass.

“But even just being in your yard, being outside at all, the ticks are becoming more and more populous in Arkansas,” Novack said.

So how do you prevent a tick bite? She said you could just not go outside.

“But I don’t actually recommend that,” Novack said. “Arkansas is a beautiful state and I like to spend a lot of time outside.”

Realistically, she said it’s important to dress to protect.

“Wearing long pants and even long sleeves to cover up your skin,” Novack said.

You should also use deet products like sprays or lotion and there is another product if you are out camping.

“You can actually treat your clothes or your camping equipment, your tents, or your sleeping bags with something called Permethrin,” Novack said.

While she said these tricks work pretty well, they are not foolproof, and Novack said you should still do a tick check every night before bed.

“A tick has to spend upwards of 24 hours on the body to really pass on an infection, so the sooner you find it and the sooner you remove it the better off you’ll be,” Novack said.

She said if you do find one, it’s important to stay calm.

“I know they are so icky, but the truth is we have tick bites every day in Arkansas, and, most of the time, everything is fine,” Novack said.

Then grab a pair of tweezers.

“It’s very tempting to want to twist it out of there, but that’s actually more likely to break the mouth parts and to leave part of it there in the body, so you want to pull slowly and very steadily straight out,” Novack said.

From there, she said just monitor yourself for symptoms.

“Fever, headache, rash is a common side effect, a lot of fatigue,” Novack said.

She said if symptoms pop up, then it’s time to see a doctor.

“Once we treat the infection, symptoms tend to get better pretty quickly but the symptoms can go on for a long time if you don’t get appropriate treatment,” Novack said.