Medical

ISDH warns of increased risk of tick-borne disease as weather warms

Dr. Kris Box, state health commissioner, speaks April 28, 2021, during a videoconference. (Photo from Live Videoconference)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana State Department of Health is encouraging Hoosiers to protect themselves from tick bites as the weather gets warmer.

The black-legged tick, which can carry pathogens that cause Lyme disease as well as other diseases, has been found in all but three Indiana counties, ISDH says.

Health officials say Hoosiers can reduce the risk of tick bites by:

  • Wearing a tucked-in long-sleeved shirt and tucked-in light-colored pants while in grassy or wooded areas
  • Treating clothing and outdoor gear with 0.5% permethrin, an insect repellant designed to fight ticks that should not be used on bare skin
  • Using EPA-registered insect repellents with active ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD) or 2-undecanone
  • Treating pets for ticks

People should check for ticks on their clothes, gear, pets and skin when they return indoors.

Putting clothes in the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes will kill ticks. Showering can also help remove any unattached ticks.

If a tick is found, health officials recommend using tweezers, not fingernails, to remove it. After the tick is removed, wash the area thoroughly and submerge the tick in alcohol. Place the tick in a sealed container and wrap it tightly in tape or flush it down the toilet.

For more information on tick bite prevention, click here.

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