Stop Ticks

07/12/2016 - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

May through July not only marks the start of the warmer summer months but the time of year known for the most frequent tick bites and the spread of tick-borne diseases. Each year about 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the CDC and nearly 20% of people living in areas where Lyme disease is common were unaware that it was a risk. The best defense against ticks and tick-borne illnesses is to reduce exposure.

To avoid tick exposure the CDC recommends:

  • People stay clear of high grass and walk in the center of a trail when hiking.
  • Use repellent that contains 20%-30% DEET directly on the skin's surface.
  • Treat dogs for ticks as they often bring ticks into the home.
  • Take a shower as soon as possible after coming indoors.
  • Conduct a self-check using a mirror to view all parts of your body after returning from a tick infected area.

How to remove a tick:

  • Use fine-tip tweezers to grab the tick as close to the skin as possible.
  • Pull upwards with steady, even pressure to avoid the mouth-parts breaking off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers.
  • After the tick is removed, clean the area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
  • Dispose of a live tick by submerging it in alcohol, putting it in a sealed container or flushing it down the toilet.

Common signs and symptoms of tick-related illnesses:

  • Fever and chills
  • Muscle aches, pains, fatigue
  • Distinctive red rashes can appear within 3-30 days

Bites can be easily treated with antibiotics but it is recommended to see a physician immediately after being bitten if one experiences any of the symptoms listed above.