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Posted on: May 16, 2018

Take precautions against ticks

It’s spring, which means more outdoor play, hiking, gardening – and potential tick contact. According to the Indiana State Department of Health, prevention of tick-borne illness hinges upon preventing ticks from attaching which can be achieved by using personal protection methods and avoiding tick habitat such as heavily vegetated areas, tall grasses and wooded areas.


Take steps to avoid tick bites with the old-standby advice to cover up and avoid tall grass. According to the Indiana State Department of Health, reduce the risk of tick bites by:


  • Wearing a light-colored, 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
  • Treating pets for ticks


Once indoors, thoroughly check for ticks on clothing, gear, pets and skin. Tumble dry clothes in high heat for 30 minutes, and if clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended. Shower as soon as possible to help remove any unattached ticks.


Ticks may be safely removed by using tweezers to grasp the tick close to the skin and then pulling outward with steady and even pressure. After the tick is removed, the area should be washed thoroughly. The tick should be discarded by submerging it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag or container, wrapping it tightly in tape or flushing it down the toilet. Ticks should never be crushed with the fingernails.


Public health issues are monitored and handled by the county and state boards of health. The Boone County Health Department does not provide spraying services and recommends personal protection as mentioned above.


More recommendations can be found here: https://www.in.gov/isdh/20491.htm

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