Tips for battling ticks this summer

Tips to protect yourself against ticks

University of Georgia professor Nancy Hinkle says she loves animals of all kinds. 

"I spend a lot of time hiking around in the woods and because I'm interested in collecting insects. I'm reluctant to use an insect repellent, therefore I am prime bait for ticks, she admitted.   

Using herself as a human Petri dish is part of the job for Professor Hinkle.

She dedicated quite a big of time in her career to studying ticks in Georgia.

"In Georgia, 95 percent of the ticks you are going to run into are the Lone Star ticks. It's a good thing because it's not a big disease vector, it's a bad thing because they are the tick that really makes you itch, she said. 

So they're mainly a frustration, as opposed to other parts of the country where ticks are getting a little more dangerous, but there is flipside to this. Hinkle says no matter what kind of a winter we have, ticks are as thick as thieves in Georgia. 


"Georgia winters are nothing for ticks," Hinkle said.   "Think about it -- they can thrive in Michigan and Maine during their winters, they'll do just fine no matter how severe winters are in Georgia.  One great benefit that ticks have here in Georgia is a great wildlife population. A tick never lacks a host here in Georgia -- think about the white-tailed deer."

The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta say there are some tips you can do to keep bugs off of you -- rinse off after coming in from outside.

You can tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for ten minutes to kill ticks on your clothing.

Look for bug spray that contains 20 percent or more of Deet and consider using stuff that has permethrin -- it's stronger, but you can only use it on your clothing.

'So any tick that's foolish enough to stay on the fabric will be killed, so not only are you repelling, them you're killing them, and I like that strategy," she said with a chuckle. 

The University of Georgia Extention service is a resource. If you have additional questions, you can call 1-800-ASKUGA-1.

For additional CDC tips, click here https://www.cdc.gov/media/dpk/diseases-and-conditions/lyme-disease/index.html

 

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