Ticks spread diseases like Lyme disease. If you spend time outdoors, you’re at risk for tick bites. Ticks can be a problem whenever temps are 40 degrees or above. They live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas. They can’t jump or fly but do climb well. Protective measures used before and after you are outside can prevent tick-borne diseases.
Before going outside, apply an insect repellent containing DEET to skin and clothing. Wear light colored clothing including long sleeves and long pants tucked into socks or boots. Consider wearing clothing treated with permethrin. Talk with your veterinarian about keeping your pets protected.
When you return, check for ticks. They hide behind knees, around the waist, and between legs. Deer ticks can be as small as a poppy seed. If you find an attached tick, use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp it close to the skin and pull straight out. Wash the site well with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. Shower within two hours of spending time outside to get you out of clothing that may still have ticks in it and wash off any unseen crawling ticks. Pets can also bring ticks inside; so remember to check pets for ticks.
Read Iowa Farmer Today’s April Safety Watch for more prevention tips.
Listen to our radio PSA!