(ATLANTIC) Ticks are one of the leading carriers of diseases to humans in the United States and they are very prevalent in Iowa this year.
Nancy Gibson, Cass County Public Health Team Lead, said the best way to prevent ticks is to avoid wooded or grassy areas. But if you can’t, there are several precautions to take.
“Wear long sleeved shirts and long light colored pants and tuck them into your socks or boots, just don’t give the ticks an opportunity to have exposed skin,” said Gibson. “Stay on trails if you are walking, hiking or biking, avoid high grass areas and we also recommend using insect repellent that contains DEET.”
If you have been in a wooded or grassy area, make sure to check yourself, check your children and check your pets. If you find a tick, remove it right away.
“In the past we’ve heard ‘burn it with a match, ‘cover it with petroleum jelly’, they do not recommend those things anymore,” said Gibson. “Instead we want you to take a pair of tweezers and grab it by the head and pull it away from your body trying really hard not to smash the body of the tick because that is where the disease is at. Then, clean and disinfect the wound area.”
If you have any questions about ticks or other public health related topics, contact the Cass County Public Health Department at 243-8006.