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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Prevention of Tick-borne Diseases

Contact the Florida Department of Health

Preventing tick bites is the best way to reduce the risk of tick-borne disease. Ticks are present in a variety of environments, but are commonly found in wooded or leafy areas. Depending on the species and the stage of the life cycle, many ticks can be difficult to see. Fortunately, simple steps can be taken to help prevent tick bites.

applying repellant Apply repellent to help prevent ticks from attaching to the skin. Repellents containing DEET can be applied directly to the skin and can offer several hours of protection. Repellents containing permethrin can be applied to clothing and shoes and can last through several washings. Always follow product instructions when applying repellent!
white suit Wear white or light-colored clothing so you can see if any ticks are crawling on your clothes. Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts when you are in areas where ticks are likely to be present. Tuck your pants legs into your socks so that ticks cannot crawl up the inside of your pants.
trail Walk in the center of the trail to avoid contact with vegetation in tick-infested areas. Shower soon after being outdoors. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your risk of being bitten by a tick.
tick removal

Check your body and your child's body for ticks after spending time in an area where ticks may be present. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to check the entire body. Pay special attention to feet and legs, as some ticks are small enough to crawl through socks and into shoes. Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you. If you find any ticks, remove them immediately.

happy dog Check your pets and your clothing for ticks. Ticks can come into the house on clothing and pets. If you find any ticks, remove them immediately. To prevent ticks on dogs and cats, consult with your veterinarian to determine what tick prevention products are recommended for your pet.

For additional information on how to prevent ticks on your pets, visit CDC Preventing Ticks on Your Pets

yard Prevent tick infestations around your home by using landscaping techniques to create a tick-free zone.

For additional information, visit CDC Ticks

Tick Removal

diagram on how to remove a tck

Graphics courtesy of CDC

If you find a tick attached, it should be removed immediately. The longer an infected tick is attached, the greater the chance that it will transmit the pathogen. Ticks should be removed with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers. Grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible. Pull upward with a steady, even motion. Do not jerk or twist the tick. Doing so may cause the mouthparts of the tick break off, or stay attached to the skin. If this happens, remove the mouthparts with the tweezers. Be careful not to squeeze or crush the tick. The tick's fluids may contain infectious organisms. Do not handle ticks with bare hands or remove ticks from pets without gloves or tweezers. After removing the tick, disinfect the bite site and wash hands thoroughly with soap and water. You may wish to save the tick for identification in case you become ill 2-3 weeks after the bite. To do so, place the tick in a sealed plastic bag, write the date of the bite on a piece of paper in pencil and place it in the bag. Place the bag in the freezer