Summer weather offers lots of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Fresh air and sunshine are great. Unfortunately, with the outdoors also comes ticks sometimes.
Sheri Bowen, Agency Administrator for Mills County Public Health, says frequent rains and the mild spring we had got everything going.
Bowen says the best thing you can do is plan ahead. Pay attention to where you’re going.
If you will be in a wooded or brushy area or areas with high grasses, you want to protect yourself from ticks. Ticks don’t fly. They climb and they are looking for human hosts.
Bowen says one of the most important things you can do is use repellent before you go out.
"A repellent that contains 20% or more DEET, picaridin or IR3535, that gives you protection for several hours. Now with children, we need to avoid their hands, eyes and mouth. We don’t want them getting any of the repellent from hand to mouth or rubbing it in their eyes. So use caution when applying to children.”
Bowen says you can treat your clothing and gear, like tents, with permethrin. She says you should always tucks pants into boots and wear longer sleeve shirts.
If you discover a tick on your body, remove it right away. Bowen says the best method for doing this is to grasp the tick with tweezers.
Take care not to squeeze the tick’s body and then pull it steadily and directly away from your skin. Then clean the wound and disinfect the bite site.
To select repellent that works best for you, the website is epa.gov/insect-repellents.