Check, Check, Check
Here is a checklist of ways to prevent tick bites and still enjoy the outdoors:
Avoid tick-infested areas!
Walk in the center of trails to avoid ticks on brush. Ticks can be active even on winter
days when the ground temperature is 45 0 Fahrenheit and above.
Light-colored clothing helps you spot ticks more easily. Wear long pants and long sleeves and tuck the shirt into your pants and the
pants into your socks to keep ticks on the outside of your clothes and off your skin.
Use insect repellent!
Repellants discourage tick attachment. You must read the product label to find out how long the formula will last. Repellents
containing DEET can be applied to the skin and clothing, but will last only a few hours before reapplication is necessary. Repellents containing permethrin can be sprayed on boots and clothing, and will last
for several days. Do not apply permethrin directly to skin, and always follow label directions when using any repellant.
Do Tick Checks!
When you’re outdoors, even in your own yard, check yourself, children and other
family members every two to three hours for ticks. Do this by looking at their
clothes and by running your fingers over scalp and skin, looking for small bumps or new “moles”. Don't forget
your hair, ears, and underarms. At night, use a hand-held or full-length mirror
to view all parts of your body.
Remove attached ticks immediately!
It is rare for a tick to infect someone
until it has been attached for more than four hours. Use fine-point tweezers
to grasp the tick around its mouthparts, at the place of attachment next to the skin.
Slowly pull the tick away from the skin until the tick is removed. Place the tick in a sealed container or small plastic
bag and deposit in the trash. After removing the tick, thoroughly disinfect the
bite site and wash your hands with soap and water. If you develop a rash or flu-like
symptoms, contact your health care provider immediately.
Tweezers or Tick
Removal Tools – Don’t Leave Home Without Them!
A study from Ohio
State University suggests that
commercial tick removal tools are very effective for removing adult ticks, although the deeply attached mouthparts of the
Lone Star Ticks sometimes were not completely removed. Another study from this
laboratory tested several popular "folk" methods (fingernail polish, petroleum jelly, a glowing hot match, and rubbing alcohol)
for their ability to induce ticks to "back out" or release from the host. Not
one of these techniques initiated tick self-detachment in adult lone star or American dog ticks!