(Remember, ticks must usually be attached for at least 24hours before they can transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease…earlyremoval can reduce the risk of infection.)
Thereare several approaches to Lyme disease prevention, including personal protection,tick control, post-exposure antibiotics and early diagnosis and treatment. You can decrease the chances of being bittenby a tick with the following precautions:
AvoidTick Infested Areas – especially during May, June and July. Walk in the center of trails to avoid contactwith overgrown grass, brush, and leaf litter at trail edges.
UseInsect Repellent – spray repellent containing a 20% concentration of DEET onclothes and on exposed skin. You can also use permethrin; which kills ticks oncontact or buy clothes that are pre-treated. Permethrin can also be used on tents and some camping gear. Do NOT use permethrin directly on skin.
Batheor Shower – bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors(preferably within 2 hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that arecrawling on you.
Washand Dry Clothing at a High Temperature – after being outdoors, wash, and dryclothing at a high temperature to kill any ticks that may remain on clothing.
PerformTick Checks – always check for ticks after being outdoors. In addition, peoplemay come in contact with ticks that were brought indoors on their pets.
Ifyou find a tick attached to your skin, there is no need to panic. There areseveral tick removal devices on the market, but a plain set of fine-tippedtweezers will remove a tick quite effectively. If you have concerns afterremoving a tick, please call your health care professional.
1. Use a fine-tipped tweezers to graspthe tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
2. Pull upward with steady, evenpressure. Do not twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts tobreak off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts withtweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers,leave it alone and let the skin heal.
3. After removing the tick, thoroughlyclean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, orsoap and water.
4. Do not use petroleum jelly, a hotmatch, nail polish or other products to remove a tick.