Ticks are arachnids, relatives
Ticks live in wooded areas,
brushy fields, and around your
Ticks survive by eating blood
from their hosts.
Ticks can pass infections from
one host to the next, including
tickborne diseases include:
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
it is a good idea to take preventive
measures against ticks year-round,
extra vigilant in warmer months
(April-September) when ticks are most
active. The best way to protect yourself
against tickborne illness is to avoid
tick bites. This includes avoiding known
tick- infested areas.
If you live in or visit wooded
areas or areas with tall grass and
weeds, follow these precautions to help
prevent tick bites and decrease the risk
• Avoid wooded and
bushy areas with high grass and leaf
• Walk in the center of trails.
• Wear protective clothing such as
long-sleeved shirts, long trousers,
boots or sturdy shoes and a head
covering. (Ticks are easier to detect on
light-colored clothing.) Tuck trouser
cuffs in socks. Tape the area where
pants and socks meet so ticks cannot
crawl under clothing.
• Apply insect repellent containing
10 percent to 30 percent DEET primarily
to clothes. Apply sparingly to exposed
skin. Do not spray directly to the face;
spray the repellent onto hands and then
apply to face. Avoid sensitive areas
like the eyes, mouth and nasal
membranes. Be sure to wash treated skin
after coming indoors.
• Use repellents containing
permethrin to treat clothes (especially
pants, socks and shoes) but not skin.
Always follow label
directions; do not misuse or overuse
Always supervise children in the use of
|Find and Remove Ticks
from Your Body
• Conduct a
full-body tick check using a hand-held
or full-length mirror to view all parts
of your body upon return from
tick-infested areas. Parents should
check their children for ticks under the
arms, in and around the ears, inside the
belly button, behind the knees, between
the legs, around the waist, and
especially in their hair.
• Examine gear and pets. Ticks can
ride into the home on clothing and pets
and attach to a person later. Tumble
clothes in a dryer on high heat for an
hour to kill remaining ticks.
• If ticks are crawling on the
outside of clothes, they can be removed
with masking tape or cellophane tape. A
ring of tape can be made around the hand
by leaving the sticky side out and
attaching the two ends. Ticks will stick
to the tape which can then be folded
over and then placed in the trash.
• Remove any tick promptly. The
mouthparts of a tick are barbed and may
remain embedded and lead to infection at
the bite site if not removed promptly.
The best way to remove a tick is to
grasp it firmly with tweezers as close
to the skin as possible and gently, but
firmly, pull it straight out. Do not
twist or jerk the tick. If tweezers are
not available, grasp the tick with a
piece of tissue or cloth or whatever can
be used as a barrier between your
fingers and the tick. Ticks can be
safely disposed of by placing them in a
container of soapy water or alcohol,
sticking them to tape or flushing them
down the toilet. If you want to have the
tick identified, put it in a small vial
of 70% isopropyl alcohol.
• Wash the bite area and your hands
thoroughly with soap and water and apply
an antiseptic to the bite site.
• If you have an unexplained
illness with fever, contact a physician.
Be sure to tell the physician if you
have been outdoors in areas where ticks
were present or traveled to areas where
tickborne diseases are common.
|To submit a tick to
Kane County Health Dept. for
please complete the
Arthropod Identification Form (below)
and submit the tick in a shatterproof
container with 70% isopropyl alcohol.
Other Tick Testing Services
Resources - for further information
General Tick Information
Common Ticks in Illinois
Identification Key to Some Common Ticks
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever