Warmer weather is just around the corner, and that means ticks are, too! Fresh air and exercise are very important to both physical and mental wellbeing, especially during this COVID-19 public health emergency. While outdoors, it is important to remember these tick tips!

Ticks may be small, but they can carry diseases dangerous to humans. In Wisconsin, there are three types of ticks that can cause disease when they bite. The deer tick is most responsible for illnesses common in our area: Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis.

Take these actions to prevent tick bites:

• Use repellent on skin and clothing: Use insect repellent with 20-30% DEET.

• Wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks to keep ticks off of your skin. Light colored clothing makes ticks easier to spot, too.

• Avoid direct contact with ticks: Stay away from wooded, brushy areas with tall grass. Walk in the center of trails.

• Check for ticks after being outdoors: Check all parts of the body and make sure your clothing and gear is tick-free before going inside. Shower or bath as soon as possible after coming inside to wash off any ticks on your body.

If you do find a tick embedded on your body, remove it as soon as possible by following these steps:

1. Grab tick with tweezers, or a gloved hand, as close to the skin as possible.

2. Pull upward and out firm and steady. Do not twist or crush the tick.

3. Use rubbing alcohol to clean the bite site and wash your hands.

The Rock County Public Health Department encourages all residents to take advantage of the outdoors, but remember these steps and social distancing guidelines to help you stay healthy!