Archive - May 22, 2018

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Be Tick Smart

Be Tick Smart

From the websites of the Vermont Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Vermont Department of Health has an active campaign to help educate people about ticks and how to avoid being bitten which in turn prevents the spread of tickborne diseases. In Vermont, ticks are most active between early spring and late fall.

Before You Go Outdoors

Know where to expect ticks: Ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas. They may live on animals as well, including your pet dog or cat.

Treat clothing and gear, if you can, with products containing 0.5% permethrin: It remains protective through several washings.

Cover up: Wear long sleeves, long pants and tuck your pants into your socks.  Wearing a hat and a bandana around your neck helps, too.

Use EPA-registered insect repellent: It should contain one of the following: DEET, picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. Caution!  Don’t use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old. Don’t use products containing OLE or PMD on children 3 years old and younger.

When Outdoors

Try to avoid ticks: Ticks don’t jump, they grab on when you brush against them.

Avoid wooded & brushy areas with high grass & leaf litter. Or at least cover up exposed skin when you do. Walk in the center of trails.

After You Come Indoors

Check your clothing for ticks. Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks.
Cold and medium temperature water will not kill ticks.

Shower soon after being outdoors. Showering within 2 hours of being outdoors may reduce your risk of getting tickborne diseases.  Showering may help wash off unattached ticks and it’s a good opportunity to do a tick check.

Use a hand-held or full-length mirror and your hands to check:

  • In and around your hair
  • In and around your ears
  • Under your arms
  • Inside your belly button
  • Between your legs
  • Behind your knees

Check your pets for ticks. 

If You Find a Tick Attached to You

Remove it. The best way to remove a tick is to use fine-tipped tweezers to pull straight up until all parts of the tick are removed.

Watch for symptoms. Symptoms may include fever, headache, joint pain, muscle aches, fatigue or a rash soon after a tick bite. You may see symptoms as soon as three days after a tick bite, but they can appear as long as 30 days after.

Call your health care provider immediately if you do get symptoms. Tell them about the tick.

The Vermont Health Department has a number of free, evidence-based materials available. You can download them here.