NDSU Extension Service - Burleigh County

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Reduce the Likelihood of Tick Interaction

With the warm up we are starting to see all sorts of creepy crawlies come out. One that often has people feeling the heebie jeebies is ticks. These eight legged arthropods feed on the blood of animals and humans and are responsible for transmitting many different diseases such as Lyme Disease.

Ticks like warm areas in tall grasses and wooded areas, although they can be found elsewhere. A few suggestions to help reduce the likelihood of a tick interaction include:

  • Wear light colored clothing. Ticks are dark and will stick out on your light clothing.  tick before and after feeding
  • Long-sleeved shirts and long pants are your best bet. If you know you will be in a dense tick area, tuck your shirts into pants and pants into your socks. This will reduce the areas that ticks can access the skin.
  • Help protect your children by keeping playground equipment and play areas away from shrubs, bushes, tall grasses, and other vegetation.
  • Deer are a common transport for ticks. Keep them out of your yard by removing plants that attract them or set up a physical barrier.
  • Be sure if you are using any insect repellant that you read and fully understand the label before application. According to the CDC, DEET should not be used on infants younger than two months of age.
  • Perform tick checks daily. Pay special attention to warm areas such as; in the hair, under the arms, in and around the ears, back of the knees, belly button, the groin area, and around the waist.

 

If a tick is found use a fine-tip tweezer close to the skin to remove the tick. Steady, even pressure will cause the tick to release. Ticks can be disposed by submersing in alcohol, placing in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing down the toilet. You should never crush a tick with your fingers.

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