Get TickSmart! Tick safety for November

By Samantha Murray

In which of these workplace settings might you be exposed to ticks? (answer below)

tick-habitats
One way to avoid tick bites is to avoid going into those places where ticks are. For most outdoor workers, that’s nearly impossible BECAUSE THERE ARE JUST MORE TICKS IN MORE PLACES, even in November! In our region, October and November are two of “tickiest” months of the year. That surprises people, because most people think that mosquitoes and ticks are killed by the first frost or freeze of Fall. Not so!

Pretty much the only type of tick active at this time are the adult stage blacklegged (deer) ticks…but they are super active, and a large percentage (up to 50% or more) are packing germs that can cause Lyme disease, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and a few other less common infections. The longer these ticks are attached and feeding just increases the likelihood that they transmitted enough germs to cause disease. Typically, you have at least one day to find and remove these ticks to prevent disease. After that, risk of an infection increases if the tick is infected (which is pretty much a 50/50 proposition; infected or uninfected-flip a quarter, or have the tick tested).

terc_adultdeertick_growthchart
If your job regularly takes you into places where these ticks may be waiting, here are three easy ways that you can reduce your risk of disease from a tick bite this fall:

  • Wear tick repellent pants treated with permethrin. Spray them yourself (lasts for about 5 washes) or have pants treated by Insect Shield (lasts for about 70 washes).
  • Always tuck your shirt into your pants.
  • Do a quick tick check at least once a day, especially focusing attention above the waist.

Get more information about avoiding tick bites this Autumn at www.TickEncounter.org.

(Answer: Deer ticks can be found in all of the above but greatest risk is A and D)

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