TICKS


 

WAYS TO PREVENT TICK BITES

 

Protect your dog, cat or other household pets

  • Pets can get sick from Lyme disease and other tickborne illnesses
  • Pets can bring ticks into home
  • To highlight the prevalence of vector-borne diseases among dogs and the importance of pet screening and testing for vector-borne diseases, go to: http://www.dogsandticks.com/map/2012/
  • For more information, please contact your veterinarian

 

Dress appropriately for outdoor activities

  • Wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and high socks
    • Light colored clothing makes ticks easier to identify
  • Wear closed toe shoes and tuck pants into socks
    • This makes it harder for ticks to crawl down shoes or up legs and makes them stay on the outside of your clothes

 

Apply an insect repellent or insecticide according to label instructions

  • If using an insect repellent with DEET, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using repellents with 20-30% DEET
    • DEET is safe for individuals older than 2 months of age
  • When putting repellent on children, an adult should apply it for them
    • NEVER APPLY REPELLENT TO A CHILD'S FACE OR HANDS
  • For an EPA list of approved repellents, go to: https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/find-repellent-right-you
  • A 0.5% permethrin (insecticide) solution may be applied to outdoor clothing 
    • NEVER USE PERMETHRIN DIRECTLY ON SKIN
    • Application must be allowed to thoroughly dry on clothes before wearing
      • Recommended dry time is 24-48 hours
    • Permethrin application will last through multiple washes

 

Perform check and clean measures following outdoor activities

  • Conduct "tick checks" on yourself, your children, and your pets
    • Remember ticks like to go to areas of the skin that are thin and somewhat hidden
    • Key areas to check are:
      • Under the arms
      • In and around the ears
      • Inside belly button
      • Back of the knees
      • In and around the hair
      • Between the legs, 
      • Around the waist
  • Place clothes worn outside in a dryer for 10 minutes on high (if clothes are dry) or 60 minutes on high (if wet)
    • This kills ticks that have tagged along on your clothes
    • If clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended
  • Take a shower to wash any ticks that may not have been seen
    • Showering within 2 hours of being in a tick-infested area reduces the risk of some tickborne diseases

 

Make changes to outdoor home environment

  • Mow lawns frequently and remove cut grass and leaves
  • Use wood chips or gravel as a barrier between lawns and wooded areas
  • Remove woodpiles or stack wood neatly in dry areas away from house to prevent rodent harborage
  • Keep tables, swing sets, play equipment, etc. away from woods, shrubs, and tall grass
    • Place them in a sunny location, if possible

 

 

TICK REMOVAL

 

Do

  1. Obtain and use fine-tipped tweezers
  2. Grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible
  3. Pull upward with steady, even pressure
    • DO NOT TWIST OR JERK THE TICK
  4. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite site and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water
  5. Throw tick away
    • NEVER CRUSH TICK WITH FINGERS OR OTHER OBJECT

Don't

  • Remove a tick with any of the following:
    • A Hot Match
    • Petroleum Jelly
    • Rubbing Alcohol
    • Nail Polish Remover
    • Ice Cubes

Remember:  Quick removal of ticks, even after they have attached, can drastically reduce the chance of disease transmission

 

 

COMMON SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF TICKBORNE ILLNESSES

 

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Muscle/Joint Aches

Remember:  If you had or suspect a tick exposure and are experiencing any of the symptoms above contact your health care provider right away

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

Tick Life Cycle

 

Common Types of Ticks Found in WI and Associated Diseases

 

Deer Tick (Blacklegged Tick) 

     Diseases

 

American Dog Tick (Wood Tick)

 

Lone Star Tick

 

2016 WI TICKBORNE ILLNESS PERCENTAGE BREAKDOWN

 

  • In 2016, Lyme Disease accounted for the majority of tickborne illness cases in Wisconsin

 

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

WI DHS - Tickborne Infections

CDC - Ticks