The Passaic County Health Department notes that this year reports of ticks have been higher than usual.
Lyme disease is spread by the deer tick. Ticks feed on the blood of animals and infected ticks transmit the disease as they feed. Ticks will feed not only on wild animals but dogs, cats and humans. When people or pets visit or live near or visit wooded areas, they run a risk of contracting Lyme disease.
Residents are encouraged to take the following precautions:
- Avoid tall grass and shrubby areas.
- Wear light colored clothing as ticks will be easier to see.
- Wear long pants tucked into socks
- Thin out low shrub vegetation in wooded areas
- Wear a tick repellent. The most effective repellent contains the active ingredient permethrin or DEET.
- Take a shower after outdoor activity and put clothes in the dryer, as the heat will kill ticks.
- Check your body thoroughly, including armpits, groin and neck.
- If you find a tick on yourself or your pet, remove it as soon as possible with tweezers. Apply steady backwards force until the tick is dislodged. Do not use alcohol, petroleum jelly or any other method to remove the tick.