Ticks and Lyme Disease
Deer (or blacklegged) ticks are native to our area, and may carry a variety of diseases, including Lyme. Before hiking, take the time to learn about preventing tick bites, identifying and removing ticks, and observing for possible symptoms of Lyme.
The CDC recommends covering as much bare skin as possible, and staying in the middle of trails, away from tall grass and thick leaf litter. The CDC also recommends wearing insect repellant, especially varieties "that contain 20 to 30% DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) on exposed skin and clothing for protection that lasts up to several hours." Always follow the instructions on your repellant carefully, and be very sure not to get it near eyes or mouths.
Do a full-body tick check when you get home from hiking. Ticks like to hide in creases, so check armpits, behind the ears, and all the nooks and crannies on yourself and on your gear. Check your dog, too, if you have come home from Personius.
How to remove a tick
- Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible.
- Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don't twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
- After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
- Observe the area around the bite, and if you feel any aches, pains, or fever-like symptoms, call your doctor!