Campus News

‘Tick checks’ can help protect you, pets from tick-borne diseases

Spending time camping, hiking or hunting can be fun and relaxing. Just make sure you don’t get hooked up with a blood-sucking travel partner, said Nancy Hinkle, an entomologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

“Tick checks” are the most effective means of protecting yourself and your pets from tick-borne diseases, according to Hinkle.

“Check your pets daily for ticks,” she said. “Run your fingers through their coat and remove any ticks before they start feeding.”

Use tweezers to remove ticks that are attached to skin. Pinch the tick close to the mouthparts to remove as much as possible. If the tick head is left behind, don’t worry.
Use tape to remove seed ticks, which are baby ticks about the size of a freckle that cluster together after birth.

Ticks must be removed manually. There is nothing to pour on ticks to remove them and showers will not get them off.

Ticks can be found all year long in places with thick vegetation, with lots of underbrush, or in overgrown fields or wooded areas. Ticks are most prevalent March through September.

Ticks are seldom found high above ground, she said. They tend to climb from ankle-height. She recommends treating socks and pant legs up to the knee with Permanone products that contain permethrin.