Taking some simple precautions can help keep ticks off your body during your next outdoor adventure!
- Use an insect repellent with a minimum of 20% DEET, picaridin or IR3535. Apply as directed.
- Wear light-colored clothing and consider tucking your pants into your socks.
- Walk in the center of trails to avoid overhanging brush and grass.
- Examine your clothes and skin frequently for ticks (be sure to check your dogs too).
- Shower soon after you return indoors.
- Check your pets for ticks regularly.
If you should find a tick attached to your body, carefully remove it immediately.
- Use tweezers to grasp the tick near its mouth parts (as close to your skin as possible).
- Pull firmly and straight out to remove the tick.
- Dispose of the live tick by submerging it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag, or flushing it down a toilet.
- Wash your hands and the site of the bite.
- Apply antiseptic to the bite.
Common symptoms of tick-borne diseases
While symptoms and severity can vary depending on the disease, there are some common symptoms among all tick-borne diseases. Consult your medical provider if you experience one of the following symptoms after being in a potentially tick-infested area:
- Sudden high fever
- Sudden flu-like symptoms
For more information on ticks in Missouri, please visit the opens in a new window Department of Health and Senior Services website or contact the opens in a new windowColumbia/Boone County Health Department.