Health district giving out ‘tick removal’ supplies

What does it mean when the snow starts to melt and the ground starts to thaw? It means spring is upon us and with spring, comes ticks, according to the Trumbull Monroe Health District.

The health district encourages residents to be on the alert for ticks — peak season is from April to September. Children are at particularly high risk.The incidence of Lyme disease is higher in children under the age of 10 than in any other age group. Most cases of Lyme disease are associated with the nymphal stage of the deer tick. Nymphs are small (about the size of a pinhead), difficult to spot, and are active during the late spring and summer months when you and your family spend more time outdoors.

“TMHD encourages residents to conduct daily tick checks,” said Patrice Sulik, TMHD Director of Health. “It’s time to become vigilant in protecting yourself and your family from tick bites. A daily tick check is the best thing you can do to prevent Lyme disease.”

The TMHD will be giving away tweezers with magnifying glass to help make a personal tick check and tick removal easier.

“We also have veterinarian approved tweezers to help with tick removal on your pets,” said Sulik.

Supplies are limited. Visit TMHD during normal business hours 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, to pick up your tweezers and other tick prevention materials while supplies last.

Yard play and camping activities are high on the list of childhood options and should be encouraged and enjoyed. By using recommended personal protection techniques consistently, you can assure that you and your children can enjoy the wonders of nature without fear of Lyme disease or other tick-borne illnesses.

TMHD encourages residents to protect themselves this tick season by taking simple action steps:
∞ Know where ticks live and avoid these habitats.
∞ Conduct daily tick checks on family and pets.
∞ Remove ticks promptly with tweezers. Do not use rubbing alcohol or soap and water to remove the tick.
∞ Dress appropriately when entering areas where ticks live. Wear long pants, light in color, tucked into socks; wear long shirt, tucked into pants; cover hair with hat. Remove and check clothing for ticks after leaving any suspect tick habitat.
∞ Use insect repellent to further reduce tick exposure. Use veterinarian recommended control products on pets. Be sure to follow manufacturers’ recommendations.

Engorged ticks can be brought to the TMHD in a plastic bag for testing. Ticks are sent to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station for a cost of $3.

For more information on the Trumbull Monroe Health District call 203-452-5195 or visit tmhd.org.