Bozho (Hello),

It’s TICK season! Most of us have experienced the dreaded tick bite after spending the day, or even a few minutes, outdoors in the yard, woods or park. They are so common and there are a lot of myths about what to do when you find a tick, how to prevent them and what diseases they might spread.

What are ticks and what do they look like? Ticks are a type of arachnid, so they have eight legs. They feed on blood from all kinds of animals, including birds, deer and you. Their flat, oval bodies swell when they eat. Ticks are also very small and hard to spot. Although I have personally been in areas where they were so large and numerous that I could see and hear them crawling in the dry leaves around me.

Where do ticks live? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas, or animals and your yard. They are everywhere.

What do you do if you find a tick? Avoid “folk” remedies such as applying nail polish, petroleum jelly or heat to cause a tick to detach. The tick should be removed from your skin as quickly as possible. The CDC has a “Tick Bite Bot” that will provide instructions for removing a tick and what to do next. It’s important to not jerk or twist the tick, as this could leave its mouth embedded in the skin. The CDC recommends:

Use clean, fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.

Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth parts to break off and remain in the skin. If you cannot remove the mouth easily with tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.

Thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. Note: Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by placing it in a sealed bag/container or fold it into a piece of tape.

How to prevent tick bites: The best way to prevent tick bites is to know where to expect them and avoid those areas. If you are hiking or camping, stay on the center of trails. Clothing and gear can be treated with permethrin to repel ticks, or any insect repellant with DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD) or 2-undecanone. After spending time outdoors, always check your clothing, outdoor gear, skin and pets for ticks, and shower as soon as possible.

After removing a tick, most people will be fine. But keep an eye out for any new symptoms over the next 30 days. Ticks can pass along bacteria, viruses or parasites. Watch for symptoms such as fever or chills, rash, nausea, vomiting, headache, body aches, joint pain, tiredness or swollen lymph nodes. If you develop any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor. In Oklahoma, the Rocky Mountain spotted fever is the most common tick disease. Be safe and careful. Migwetch.

During Thursday and Friday of CPN Festival registration, I’ll be drawing caricatures of visitors to the veterans’ table. I hope to see you there.

The Citizen Potawatomi Nation Organization will not have a regular Tuesday evening meeting in June, but we will have a meeting of CPN veterans and visitors on Saturday during the CPN Festival in the second floor meeting room of the golf club house at 9 a.m. Afterward, we will retire flags at the Powwow Grounds and demonstrate the fold of the flag.

Our regular Tuesday meetings will begin again in July on the 23 at 6 p.m. (or as soon as you can get there). We hope to see you then.

Daryl Talbot, Commander