Lyme Disease and Tick-borne Diseases
Prevention is key to avoiding a tick bite! Here are a few tips you can follow.
- Avoid exposure in wooded, overgrown areas, and stay on marked trails when hiking.
- Avoid going into the tall grass and brush if you can.
- Sports and athletic fields with well-groomed grass are safer.
- Wear protective clothing such as long sleeves, long pants tucked into socks, and closed-toe shoes.
- Use insect repellent such as DEET on the body or Permethrin on clothes. Be sure to review safety information and assess the risks/benefits of these products. Consult your doctor if you’re hesitant of the products.
- Remove clothing as soon as coming in from outdoors, in an area outside of the house, like a garage.
- Place clothes in a dryer on high heat for at least 10 minutes.
- Perform tick checks as soon as you come in from outside. Important areas to check for ticks include behind the knees, under the armpits, in the scalp, along the waistline, and the back.
- Shower daily.
Places to check for Ticks:
- In/behind ears
- Scalp and hair
- Belly button
- Groin area
- Behind the knees
- In-between toes
- Under any skin folds
(TickEncounter Resource Center, 2018)
How to remove a tick
- Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Apply gloves prior to removing the tick to protect any open cuts on your skin.
- Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick as this can cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouthparts with tweezers.
- After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, or soap and water.
- Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape. Never crush a tick with your fingers!
For further information see the links below.