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[ Image : Tick ]
Exposure to ticks
can be reduced by employing the following practices:
1. Cultural: Keep grassy and weedy areas trimmed to reduce harborage for tick hosts. The reservoir tick host that carries lyme disease is the white-footed mouse.
2. Avoidance: Whenever possible, stay out of tick-infested areas, grassy pastures, prairies, and wooded areas. Restrict movement of your dog.
3. Proper Clothing: When entering tick-infested areas, wear long-leeved shirts and long trousers with tight-fitting cuffs.
4. Repellents: Use an insect repellent containing the active ingredient diethyl toluamide (DEET). Apply to clothing and areas of exposed skin such as hands, wrists, ankles and neck. Protect dogs with flea and tick collars.
5. Inspection and Removal: Inspection and removal of ticks reduces the risk of lyme disease transmission. After crawling on a potential host, a tick may take up to a day to attach and feed, so you may be able to remove a tick before it has attached. In addition, the risk of disease transmission is related to the length of feeding so attached ticks should be removed promptly. Ticks tend to concentrate on the head, shoulders, neck and in ear canals. Remove embedded ticks with forceps, by gripping the tick carefully at the point of attachment and pulling upward in a slow but firm manner.
Care should be taken when removing a tick from pets or humans to insure that the entire tick is completely removed from the skin (the head often breaks off). After removal, wash the wound with soap and water and apply alcohol or some other disinfectant to help prevent infection.
6. Insecticides: Around the outside of the home, tick numbers can be reduced by using residual insecticides such as carbaryl (Sevin), chlorpyrifos (Dursban) and diazinon. Follow label instructions. For tick control on pets, use only baths, sprays, and dips that are recommended by your veterinarian.
To check for ticks in your yard or acreage, you can drag a white cloth (such as an old pillowcase) through the vegetation as you walk. Ticks, waiting at the top of a blade of grass or shrub for a passing host to wander by, will grab hold of the cloth and be easy to see against the white >
As soon as possible after being in a high risk area, examine your body for bites or itches. Taking a shower and using lots of soap aids in this examination. Areas such as the scalp, armpits, and groin are difficult to examine effectively, but are preferred sites for tick attachment. Special attention should be given to these parts of the body.
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