A California mother is speaking out to remind autumn revelers across the country of a common danger that may be lurking in pumpkin patches.
Jennifer Velasquez, who lives in San Diego, took to Facebook on October 13 to share a horrifying photo of her leg taken in 2015 after she was bitten by a tick while visiting a pumpkin patch with her family.
"After seeing all the cute pictures of families at the pumpkin patches, this is a reminder for everyone," she wrote. "When you go to these pumpkin patches and petting zoos and all those fun fall activities, wear pants, long socks and shoes!"
"Make sure you check for tics! This was me 2 years ago after being bit by a tick and contracting Rocky Mountain spotted fever at a pumpkin patch," she continued. "I Couldn't walk, my whole body was in pain, my hair fell out, and I almost died."
Although Velasquez's injury happened two years ago, experts have warned that 2017 would be one of the worst tick seasons in years due to a boom in the mouse population and last year's warm winter -- and it isn't even over yet.
While tick season normally peaks from April through September, this year's unusually warm fall weather may result in heightened tick activity throughout the upcoming months.
Hopefully, Velasquez's warning, which has been shared over 10,000 times, can serve as a reminder that ticks don't stop biting when summer ends.
"I'm still healing from all this," she wrote. "Don't be dumb and wear flip flops like me. CHECK FOR TICKS!"
RELATED: Learn how to prevent tick bites:
How to avoid tick bites
How to avoid tick bites
1. Stay in the middle of the path
When hiking, make sure to stay in the middle of the path. Weeds, grass and trees make it easier for ticks to crawl onto you. Don't venture out to the grass or bushes, where ticks are formidable to be hiding.
2. Wear long pants and closed toed shoes
Protect your skin. Adding an extra layer makes it more difficult to latch on to you. It's smart to wear pants, long sleeves and hats, especially in the summer.
3. Invest in deer-resistant plants.
Since ticks feed on and are transported by deer, try looking into deer-resistant plants. French marigolds, rosemary, mint and crape myrtle are just some of the greens deer tend to "overlook".
See a complete list of the herbs and flowers here.
4. Check your dog!
Dogs can literally bring ticks right to your front door. Prevent ticks by keeping their coats short in the summer. Use your hands to check the fur, stopping if you feel a pea-sized bump. Favorite spots ticks like to hide include the ears, toes and under the tail.
Dog ticks don't "harbor diseases that sicken people", but you should still be wary.
5. Yes, repellant can help.
According to TickenEncounter, spray with DEET does not provide "sufficient" protection. Get spray for your clothes like Permethrin, which instantly kills ticks.
6. Dry your clothes
The CDC recommends tumble drying clothes immediately for ten minutes after you've been outside. Ticks can easily "dry out" with high heat, but you should make sure the clothes are completely dry.
Warning: Ticks can survive the wash.
7. Tuck your pants into your socks.
This covers the small, easily accessible space in between your pants and ankles. Especially if you are sitting, it makes it easier for ticks to latch on.
8. Stay in the sun.
Since ticks survive in shady, humid environments, researchers agree that staying in the sun lowers the risk for ticks. According to LiveScience, ticks "can't survive" in places with lower than 80% humidity.
9. Invest in Permethrin socks
The chemical is successful in protecting against ticks, mosquitoes and other types of bites. Lymedisease.org estimates that permethrin-treated footwear offered 74 times the protection from bites.
10. Mow your lawn
Cut your grass, clean your yard, get rid of any extra firewood or wood chips.