The Kentucky Department for Public Health is urging outdoor enthusiasts to protect themselves from ticks that are spreading infectious diseases.
Kentuckians can fight ticks by four simple steps: protect, check, remove and watch.
- Protect: Wearing a long-sleeved shirt and light-colored pants, with the shirt tucked in at the waist and the pants tucked into socks, if they will be in grassy or wooded areas. Treating clothing and outdoor gear with 0.5% permethrin, which is an insect repellent specifically designed for this purpose (permethrin should NOT be used on bare skin). Using EPA-registered insect repellents with active ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD) or 2-undecanone
- Check: Conducting frequent tick checks while outdoors
- Remove: Ticks can be safely removed by using tweezers to grasp the tick close to the skin and then pulling outward with steady and even pressure.
- Watch: Symptoms of tickborne illnesses can vary depending on the disease. A sudden fever and rash, severe headache, muscle or joint aches, vomiting or diarrhea can be signs of tickborne illnesses.
Experts say to thoroughly check for ticks on clothing, gear, pet, and skin. Tumbling clothes in the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes will kill ticks, and showering can help remove any unattached ticks.
Click here for more information about ticks and how to prevent the disease they carry.