Daily tick checks help prevent tick-borne infections. Tick Check! Prevent! Remove! Handout pdf
- Clothing – Check clothing for ticks and remove any you find. Don’t forget to check your shoes and remember they are harder to see on dark clothing. Dry clothes for 10-15 minutes on high heat. If you wash your clothes first, only hot water will kill a tick.
- Belongings – Ticks move around and will hide until they find a host to attach to. Check your gear and belongings that you took with you. This includes your car.
- Shower – This may help wash any ticks that are not attached.
- Pets – Don’t forget, your dogs or other outside pets will need a full tick check before they come inside. Make sure you have talked to the vet about what other tick prevention steps you should take, like wearing a tick collar.
- Body – Check your children for ticks. Check yourself for ticks. If you don’t have someone to help you, use a mirror to check all parts. Work your way up from bottom to top. Ticks like warm spots, so don’t miss any of those. Feel for bumps. Look for tiny dark spots. Most ticks are very small! After Spending Time Outdoors, Check for Ticks. Know where to tick check to defend against tick-borne infection. Start with these 10 spots. Toes, Backs of Knees, Legs, Groin, Waistline, Belly Button, Armpits, Back of Neck, In and Behind Ears, and Head.
Sources: CDC, Tick & Mosquito Project
Count to Ten to Check for Ticks!
After Spending Time Outdoors, Check for Ticks. Know where to tick check to defend against tick-borne infection. Start with these 10 spots going from Bottom to Top.
- Back of knees
- Around Waistline
- Belly Button
- Back of Neck
- In and Behind Ears
Since you are doing daily tick checks, you will be able to remove ticks soon after they have embedded. There is a lot of misinformation about tick removal out there. Remember, you can put your tick in a plastic bag and send it to one of the many tick testing labs. Tick Testing
How to Remove a Tick
You do not want the tick to expel its contents, including a tick-borne infection, into your bloodstream. Ticks embed deeply and securely with the help from long hypostomes (mouthparts) and Deer ticks secrete a substance that glues them into the skin so they can keep themselves attach for several days to feed off their host. You can’t simply smother or flick a tick away.
- Do not squeeze or twist the tick.
- Do not cover it with any substance i.e. essential oils, petroleum jelly, soap, alcohol, etc.
- Do not burn with a match or cigarette.
- With a fine-tipped tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Squeeze and pull upward with even, steady pressure. You should be able to grab the tick’s head or directly above the head with a pointy tweezers.
- If the head remains in the skin, see if you can pull it out but you don’t want to dig and rip the skin. You may need a doctor to take a tick mouth-part that is fully embedded. But it will not transmit tick-borne disease at this point as the germs are further back in the tick’s body, specifically in the gut and salivary gland
- After you remove the tick, clean the bite area and your hands with soap and water, or rubbing alcohol.
- Dispose of the tick by putting it alcohol or flushing it down the toilet. Do not crush it. Or send it to a tick testing site. See link
Sources: CDC, Tick Encounter, Tick Check
Below are simple tips to help prevent a tick-borne illness.
Protect: Spray with tick repellent to clothes, skin and shoes as directed. Spray yard and clothes with insecticide as directed. Don’t forget to protect pets too. Wear light colored clothing to see ticks easier. Cover up; tuck pants into socks.
Avoid: Areas where ticks live: long grass, bushy areas, leaves, tree stumps, woodpiles, stone walls, area between lawn and woods.
Check: Do a full 10-point tick check: Toes, Back of knees, Legs, Groin, Around Waistline, Belly Button, Armpits, Back of Neck, In and Behind Ears, Head. Check pets and belongings too.
Clean: Shower to wash off any missed and unattached ticks. Place clothes in dryer for at least 15 minutes.
Remove: If you find a tick, remove quickly. With fine-tipped tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Squeeze and pull upward with even, steady pressure.
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