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Be safe, be tick-smart

Dutchess County has a high incidence of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. When temperatures are above freezing and the ground is not frozen, ticks are active and looking for blood meals.

Take steps to protect yourself and your family from tick bites.

Below are some recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dress for tick defense

  • Wear long-sleeves, long pants, and closed-toe shoes.
  • Wear light-colored clothing so you can spot ticks more easily.
  • Tuck shirts into pants and pants into socks to reduce gaps where ticks can get in.
  • Apply EPA-recommended insect repellents.
Tuck pant legs into socks, especially in forested areas.

Avoid tick habitats

  • Reduce time spent in forested areas with leaf litter and shrubby areas.
  • Walk in the center of trails to avoid contact with nearby vegetation.

When you get home

  • Do tick checks. Favorite spots for ticks to hide: under the arms, behind the knees, in the groin area, and in and around the hair.
  • Kill tagalong ticks by tumble drying clothes on high heat for 10 minutes.
  • Shower within two hours of coming home.

If you have a tick bite

  • Remove the tick as soon as possible using fine tipped tweezers.
  • Grasp the tick near the skin’s surface and pull it out with a steady motion.
  • Clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
  • If you develop a rash or fever following a tick bite, consult your doctor.

More about Lyme disease...