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WEBSITE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Doneen Hollingsworth, Secretary of Health

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM TICK BITES

  • Stay away from bush, weeds, woods, and other tick habitats.
  • Use a tick repellents, such as DEET containing insect repellents.
  • Wear long pants and shirts that fit snugly at the ankles and wrists.
  • Check yourself and your companions often when in tick infected areas.
tick vector for Lyme disease
Ixodes scapularis,
tick vector for Lyme disease
dog tick
Female Dermacentor variabilis,
American brown dog tick
(Photos courtesy CDC Public Health Image Library)

Removing an Attached Tick
Remove the tick as soon as possible after discovering. The best way to remove an attached tick is as follows:

  1. If possible, use blunt curved forceps, tweezers or a special tick removal device. If you use your fingers, cover them with rubber gloves, waxed paper, plastic or paper toweling. (Do not use vaseline, matches or cigarettes.)
  2. Place the tips of the tweezers or edges of the device around the tick's mouthparts where they enter the skin.
  3. With forceps or tweezers, remove the tick with a steady pull away from the skin - do not jerk or twist the tick.
  4. Take great care not to crush or puncture the body of the tick or to get any fluids from the tick on you.
  5. Dispose of the tick by sealing it in plastic bag and throwing it in the trash.
  6. If you wish to keep the tick alive, place it in a sealable container, such as a bag or vial, with moist paper and store it in the refrigerator to give to a physician for examination if a tick-carried disease is suspected.
  7. After you have removed the tick, disinfect your skin with alcohol or povidone iodine and wash hands with soap and water.
  8. Contact your health care provider if you have difficulty removing a tick or becoming ill following a tick exposure.

From: "Ticks and what you can do about them", 1998. by Roger Drummond. Wilderness Press, Berkley. p 58-59.

Tick-borne diseases include: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tularemia, Lyme Disease, Colorado Tick Fever, Ehrlichiosis, Relapsing Fever, Q Fever, Babesiosis

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