Before coming indoors, brush off your clothing.
Once inside, remove all clothing, check for ticks, and promptly wash and dry (high heat for 30 minutes) clothing. Family members can help each other with the tick inspection.
Remove and dispose of any unattached ticks. There is always risk of exposure when handling ticks so wash hands thoroughly after handling.
Ticks can be as small as a poppy seed and may look like a freckle. Ticks like to attach around moist areas of the body, and can often be found between the toes, behind the knees, in the navel and groin areas, armpits, back of neck, skin creases, and in hair.
Check bedding several days following potential exposure for ticks that may have fallen off.
Continue to check for ticks several days following potential exposure.
Check Your Pets
Pets that are allowed outdoors can come in contact with ticks, so frequently inspect your pet and properly remove any attached or unattached ticks.
Use tick control products that your veterinarian recommends. These preventative measures are important to help protect pets because they can also get Lyme Disease and Ehrlichiosis.
Dress for Success
Be aware and avoid tick habitats such as tall grass, bushes, brush, and woods. Avoid sitting on stumps or fallen logs and walk in the middle of trails when hiking outdoors.
If you go into such habitats, wear shoes and appropriate clothing (hat, long-sleeved shirt, and long pants tucked into the socks). Wear light colored clothing to make ticks more visible.
Block the Bite
Use tick repellents with >20% DEET on exposed skin and clothing.
Treat the outside of clothing and outdoor gear with (0.5%)permethrin.
Visit Here for safety and efficacy information on DEET and permethrin.
Transmission of Lyme and other bacterial, viral and parasitic infections can take place in a matter of MINUTES, particularly if the tick is not removed properly.
Remember the following do's and don'ts for removing ticks:
Don't try to scrape off, twist or squeeze the tick, this can cause the mouth parts to remain in the skin
Don't burn with a match while attached.
Don't try to kill it with petroleum jelly, soap or any other substance while still attached.
Do monitor the bite area and be alert for early signs, such as an expanding rash or flu-like symptoms over the next month or so.
Alabama has multiple counties declared "endemic" by the Alabama Department of Public Health. Studies have shown that up to 50% of ticks in "Lyme-endemic" areas are infected with Lyme or other tick-borne diseases. With odds like that, if you have proof or a high suspicion that you've been bitten by a tick, taking a "wait and see" approach to deciding whether to treat the disease has risks.