Ticks cause Disease - Fight the Bite!

Fight the Bite

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TICKS -

insectrepellents-animated[1]Spray Before You Work or Play

Blacklegged tick (deer tick) life stages next to a metric ruler. The adult ticks (two ticks at the left) are approximately 1/8 of an inch long, while the nymph (third from left) is just under 1/16 of an inch.

Blacklegged Ticks (Deer Tick, Bear Tick)

The scientific name of the blacklegged tick is Ixodes scapularis. Many people still know the blacklegged tick by another common name, the deer tick. You may also hear it called the bear tick. They are all the same tick.

The blacklegged tick is much smaller than the wood (or dog) tick.

In this photo, the tick on the left is an adult female deer tick, which is red and dark brown. To her right is an adult male deer tick, which is smaller and dark in color. A nymph deer tick is the second from the right, and a deer tick larva is to the far right. CDC(Scale of image is centimeters.)

In this photo, the tick on the left is an adult female blacklegged tick, which is red and dark brown. To her right is an adult male blacklegged tick, which is smaller and dark in color. A nymph blacklegged tick is the second from the right, and a blacklegged tick larva is to the far right.

Adult females and nymphs can transmit infections through their bite.

Preventing Tick-Transmitted Disease
Information about minimizing your risk of tick-transmitted diseases, protecting your pets, and removing ticks.

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM TICK BITES
Know when you are in tick habitat; this is when it is most important to take precautions:

  • Wooded or brushy areas for the blacklegged tick.
  • Grassy or wooded areas for the American dog tick.

If you spend time outdoors in tick habitat, use repellent to reduce the risk of disease:

  • DEET-based repellents (up to 30 percent DEET) can be applied to clothing or skin.
  • Pre-treating fabric with permethrin-based repellents can protect against tick bites for at least two weeks without reapplication. This is an excellent option for people who frequently venture into wooded areas.
  • WATCH THE VIDEO ABOUT CLOTHING AND GEAR REPELLENT ?
[video width="640" height="360" wmv="/blogs/first-aid-mart/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Bens-Clothing-and-Gear.wmv"][/video]

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People who live, or spend time at cabins, on heavily wooded property often encounter ticks regularly and should consider managing their landscape to reduce their risk. Consider the following tick habitat management strategies:

  • Keep lawns and trails mowed short.
  • Remove leaves and brush.
  • Create a landscape barrier of wood chips or rocks between mowed lawns and woods.
  • Apply pesticide treatments in the spring or early summer along the edges of wooded yards and trails; follow pesticide label instructions carefully.

PERFORM DAILY TICK CHECKS
Perform tick checks after spending time outdoors in tick habitat.  Check your body for ticks by searching your entire body for ticks.  If you find a tick on you, remove it immediately.

Early detection of tick-borne illness is important to prevent potentially severe complications, so people should seek medical care if they develop symptoms that could be a tick-borne disease after spending time in tick habitat. Signs and symptoms of the various tick-borne diseases can include, but are not limited to, rash, fever, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, and joint pain or swelling. These symptoms can be associated with other diseases, so it is important for patients to mention possible tick exposures or time spent in tick habitat to their medical provider. Except for Powassan disease, which is caused by a virus, all of Minnesota's tick-borne diseases are treatable with antibiotics.

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