It is important to be aware of ways to prevent being bitten by a tick. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

 

  • When in an area where ticks are common, wear long sleeved shirts and pants, preferably light colored so ticks will be easy to detect.
    • Tuck pants into socks.
    • Use a tick repellent containing DEET.
  • Upon returning indoors, inspect clothing and your entire body, including your head, for ticks. Don’t forget to check your family members who may have been out with you and/or your family pet as well.
  • After spending time in a tick habitat, it’s a good idea to take a shower because it will afford you the opportunity to thoroughly inspect your entire body.
  • Wash clothes immediately.
  • Keep grass cut low, including around fence lines, sheds, trees, shrubs, swing sets and other difficult to cut locations and remove weeds, woodpiles and other debris from the yard.
  • Inquire about lawn tick treatments, especially those that focus on the edges of the lawn where it interfaces with natural areas. This method has the greatest chance of preventing ticks from establishing themselves in your back yard
  • Pet owners should speak to their veterinarians about preventative flea and tick treatments, as these can help deter pet pests and kill ticks on contact/upon being bitten.
  • If a tick is found attached, it should be removed with a slow, steady pull so as not to break off the mouthparts and leave them in the skin. If possible, it’s best to use forceps or tweezers and grab on or just behind the mouthparts. If you must use fingers, the fingernails of the thumb and forefinger should be placed on or just behind the mouthparts. Once removed, wash hands and attachment site thoroughly with soap and water. Ticks should then be flushed down a toilet or wrapped tightly in tissue before disposing in a closed receptacle since they can be difficult to crush.