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Health

Posted on: May 3, 2019

Fight the Bite!

Ticks in Wisconsin

When enjoying time outdoors, it is important to be aware of ticks and take steps to protect yourself. You can take several steps to "fight the bite" and prevent illnesses spread by ticks, including using personal protection, removing ticks as soon as possible, and getting rid of ticks in your yard.  Ticks are typically most active in Wisconsin from May to September, but it is still important to use caution year-round. 


Create Tick-Safe Zones

  • Clear tall grass, brush, and leaf litter from the yard or trails.
  • Use wood chips or gravel as a barrier between lawns and wooded areas and around patios and play equipment: CDC recommends a 3-foot wide barrier to prevent ticks from entering recreational areas.
  • Mow lawns often and remove cut grass and leaves.
  • Keep tables, swing sets, play equipment, etc., away from woods, shrubs, and tall grass. Place in a sunny location, if possible.
  • Do not feed deer, which often carry ticks into the yard. Build barriers to lessen deer intrusion.
  • Remove woodpiles, or stack wood neatly in dry areas away from houses to lower the number of rodents in the area. Rodents can bring ticks into the yard and can also spread disease to the ticks.

Tick Removal

Don't panic if you find a tick embedded on your body. Simply remove it as soon as possible following these recommendations:

   

Do  

  • Grasp tick with a narrow-bladed tweezers as close as possible to the skin.    
  • If tweezers are not available, use fingers shielded with tissue paper or rubber gloves.   
  • Pull upward and out with a firm and steady tension.

Don't

  • Don't use petroleum jelly, a hot match, nail polish, or other products. 
  • Don't handle tick with bare hands.
  • Don't squeeze, crush, or puncture the body of the tick, which may contain infectious fluids. Do not twist, as this can cause the mouthparts to break off and stay in the skin.

After removing the tick, use rubbing alcohol to clean the bite site and wash hands. It is important that a tick be properly removed as soon as it is discovered. Visit your doctor if you have a rash or fever within 30 days of removing a tick or after possible tick exposure. It is important to tell them when and where you may have come into contact with the tick.

Additional Info...
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