Avoid unwanted hitchhikers!
Be prepared before heading into the woods this spring and summer.
- Georgia is home to 21 species of ticks, four of which feed on humans.
- Georgia’s tick season is during warm months, April through October.
- Ticks dislike short vegetation and sunny, dry environments.
- Only 2-percent of a single Georgia tick species carries pathogen/disease.
- ‘Attached’ ticks do not feed within the first 24-48 hours or transmit disease-causing organisms during this time.
- Stay on marked trails. Avoid brushing up against vegetation.
- Wear long pants, and when possible tuck pant legs into socks and tuck shirts under belts.
- Wear a hat or other head covering to prevent ticks’ access from overhead limbs and leaves.
- To repel ticks, use products containing DEET on skin and clothing. To repel and kill ticks, use an aerosol containing Permethrin ONLY on clothing.
- Ticks can attach themselves to any part of your body, so check hair and scalp, inside the ears, under arms and behind knees.
- Routinely check pets and administer regular flea and tick prevention.
If you find an ‘attached’ tick:
- DO gently remove with fine tweezers, grasping the tick close to the skin.
- DO NOT apply a lit match or Vaseline product to the tick while attached as this may cause it to regurgitate. If the tick regurgitates, this could infect you with a tick-borne pathogen.
Three ways to dispose of a tick:
- Drown it in rubbing alcohol;
- Suffocate it between two layers of tape;
- Flush it down the toilet.
The first two options allow you to keep the tick in case any symptoms were to arise, and you would like to send the tick for medical pathogen testing.