Tick Protection and Prevention
Did you know that Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-borne diseases in the United States? Each year, an estimated 30,000 cases are reported, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Outdoor workers who work in certain areas are more at risk for tick-related diseases and should protect themselves.
Where Do Ticks Live?
Ticks are often in wooded areas, on high grass, or on leaf litter. They do not jump or fall on a person but get picked up when a person brushes against the object they are on.
While most are active from April through September, ticks can be found year-round. Most Lyme disease cases come from 14 states throughout the Northeast and Upper Midwest. However, cases have been reported in all states. Other diseases ticks carry in the United States include Babesiosis, Colorado Tick Fever, Ehrlichiosis, Relapsing Fever, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tick Paralysis, and Tularemia.
Signs and Symptoms
When left untreated, Lyme disease can produce a wide range of symptoms. Symptoms typically begin appearing from 3 to 30 days after a bite and may look different depending on the stage of your infection. Look for symptoms such as:
- Body/muscle aches
- Joint pain
- Stiff neck
Use these recommendations to protect yourself against ticks.
- Wear a hat and light-colored clothing to easily spot ticks, including long-sleeved shirts and long pants tucked into boots or socks.
- Use insect repellent, 20-50% DEET on exposed skin and clothing.
- Re-apply repellents as needed. Always follow product labels.
- Check skin and clothing for ticks daily. Check hair, between fingers and toes, underarms, behind the knees, around the ear, and groin.
- Immediately remove ticks using fine-tipped tweezers by grasping the tick firmly, as close to your skin as possible, and pulling the tick's body away from your skin with a steady motion. Clean the area with soap and water.
- Wash and dry work clothes using the "hot" settings to kill any ticks on clothing.
- Shower to remove any loose ticks.
- If you develop symptoms of Lyme disease, seek medical attention promptly. Tell your doctor that you work outdoors and report any tick bites.
Ticks and Lyme disease should not be taken lightly. Take proper precautions when outdoors and near areas ticks live. Don't forget to report any workplace illnesses or injuries. For more job site safety tips, contact your BITCO risk control consultant. Click the button below to find an agent near you.
For information purposes only. BITCO's blog content does not address all potential circumstances and is not a substitute for business, safety, or legal consultation.