When you’re outside this spring and summer, prevent tick bites and reduce your risk of tick-borne disease by following
Protect Yourself from Tick Bites
Know where to expect ticks.
Ticks live in moist and humid environments, particularly in or near wooded or grassy areas.
You may come into contact with ticks during outdoor activities around your home or when walking through vegetation such as
leaf litter or shrubs. Always walk in the center of trails, in order to avoid ticks.
Use a repellent with DEET
(on skin or clothing) or permethrin
(on clothing) and wear long sleeves, long pants and socks.
Products containing permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear which can remain protective through
several washings. Repellents containing 20% or more DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) can be applied to the skin, and they can
protect up to several hours. Always follow product instructions!
Parents should apply this product to their children,
avoiding the hands, eyes, and mouth.
Modify your landscape to create
Tick-Safe Zones. To do this, keep play areas and playground equipment away from
shrubs, bushes, and other vegetation. Also, regularly remove leaf litter and clear tall grasses and brush around homes, and
place wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas to keep ticks away from recreational areas.
Provide a vegetation-free play area.
Keep play areas and playground equipment away from away from shrubs, bushes, and
Removing plants that attract deer and constructing physical barriers may help discourage deer from
entering your yard and bringing ticks with them.
Check your body for ticks
after being outdoors, even in your own yard. Conduct a body check upon return from potentially tick-
infested areas by searching your entire body for ticks. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body and remove any
tick you find. Check these parts of your body and your child's body for ticks:
Shower soon after being outdoors.
Showering within two hours of coming indoors has shown to reduce your risk of being bitten by a
Check your children for ticks,
especially in the hair, when returning from potentially tick-infested areas. See the list above for the
places on your child's body to check for ticks. Remove any tick you find on your child's body.
Check your clothing for ticks.
Ticks may be carried into the house on clothing. Any ticks that are found should be removed. Placing
clothes into a dryer on high heat for at least an hour effectively kills ticks.
Prevent family pets from bringing ticks into the home.
Maintain your family pet under a veterinarian’s care. Two of the ways to get
rid of ticks on dogs and cats are putting on tick medicine or using a tick collar. Be sure to use these products according to the package
instructions. For more information on animals and health, see Preventing Ticks on Your Pet.
What are the symptoms?
Lyme disease can cause fever, headaches, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. Lyme disease has different stages.
Erythema migrans is a key early-stage symptom. This circular red patch usually appears at the bite site 3 to 30 days
after the bite. It expands to 5 to 6 inches in diameter, and persists for 3 to 5 weeks. As the rash enlarges, it may take on a “bull’s-eye” appearance. In some
people this rash never forms, or it is not noticed.
Other symptoms of early Lyme disease include:
• muscle and joint aches
• chills and fever
• swollen lymph nodes
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