811 W. John Street, Yorkville, IL 60560
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Time for Tick Bite Prevention

March 7, 2017

The Kendall County Health Department is warning county residents to begin tick prevention practices now. Due to unseasonably warm temperatures in Illinois, the health department conducted a tick drag to monitor the presence of ticks as part of the Tick Surveillance Program. Recently, one surveillance drag yielded 9 adult deer ticks, which is the same total number of deer ticks collected during the entire 2016 surveillance season. The deer tick responsible for carrying the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.

Ticks live in and near wooded areas, in leaf litter and in areas with piled grass. Ticks are often found waiting in the tall grass and brush for an animal or human to brush against them. Ticks cannot jump or fly. They are often no bigger than a pin head. Ticks are present when the temperature is at or above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.PSA Tick Bite Prevention 3 17 (2)

In order to avoid direct contact with ticks here are a few recommendations. Wear light-colored clothing so ticks are easily detected. Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts to avoid skin exposure. Always tuck your shirts into your pants and pant legs into your socks. Wear a hat or tie long hair back to avoid tick attachment to scalp. Additionally, use repellents that contain 20-30% DEET on exposed skin and use products that contain 0.5% permethin on clothing and gear. Finally, always walk in the center of the trails to avoid contact with the fringes of tall grass.

After returning from time outdoors, bathe or shower as soon as possible and conduct a full-body tick check using a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Parents should check their children for ticks under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and especially in their hair.

If you find a tick attached to you, please follow these instructions.

  • Use fine-tip needle nose tweezers to grasp the tick around its mouth parts, slowly pull upward. Commercial tick removal tools are available as well.
  • Keep the tick in a sealed container or in alcohol solution, in event of illness, tick can be identified.
  • Wash the “bite site” with soap and water, and then apply a disinfectant.
  • Monitor the bite site; contact your physician if rash appears or swelling persists.
  • DO NOT squeeze or twist the tick, use matches, petroleum jelly, nail polish, alcohol or kerosene to remove it!

With spring like weather upon us, the health department wants to stress the importance of taking preventative tick measures to avoid exposure to Lyme disease and other illnesses caused by ticks. For more tick prevention information, please visit the Kendall County Health Department’s website www.kendallhealth.org or call (630)553-9100.

Serving the Residents of Kendall County Since 1966
811 W. John Street, Yorkville, IL 60560   •   630-553-9100