Tips to prevent tick bites

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – With deer hunting season around the corner, parasites and critters are lurking in every wooded area. Some may even be on the animals you’re hunting.

The most common of these parasites are the American tick and the Deer tick. They latch onto the skin of humans and animals and bite down to feed on blood.

They can carry diseases and cause illnesses such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, and most recently, Heartland virus.

The case was confirmed in Jackson County, Ill. and the third case in the state since 2018.

The virus is thought to be spread by the Lone Star tick, which has a white circle or star-like shape on its back.

Liz Yohe, Southeast Assistant Natural History biologist, has tips on who to prevent tick bites.

“So permethrin is a treatment for clothing,” Yohe said. “And you can’t spray it on yourself, or on your skin or while the clothing is on you.”

Permethrin can be one of the most effective ways of preventing and treating tick infestations.

“Once they get on the clothing that’s treated with the permethrin, they’re immediately going to die,” she said.

Wearing long sleeves and pants are also good ways to make sure ticks can’t reach your skin.

But if you do get bitten, it’s important to be extremely careful when removing ticks.

“If you do get bit taking the correct steps to remove the tick, making sure you don’t squeeze it.”

Making sure the head of the tick is removed properly from your skin can prevent it from going deeper, and keep the tick’s saliva from entering your system.

Yohe says keeping the tick after removal is important for insurance purposes.

“And that way if there is an issue, you have that tick and that tick can be tested.”

Tick borne illnesses have symptoms like fever, chills, joint pain, and even death.

Additionally tick bites can lead to an aversion to red meat.

Some people have reported a red meat allergy, that has been popping up in the last five years.

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