Deer hunters should take precautions to prevent tick-borne diseases.
Venison is a wonderful healthy meat but hunters should keep in mind, dressing deer may put the hunters in close proximity with potentially infected ticks. Lyme disease cannot be transmitted by the consumption of venison.
To help prevent a tick bite and potential disease the following steps may help:
• Pre-treat hunting clothing with permethrin (0.5 percent), found in Permanone products, Sawyer Clothing-Only Repellent and Repel, a clothing spray that may help to prevent tick bites. Once dry the repellent has no odor. DEET formulations of a least 25 percent may also be used as a repellent, make sure and follow manufacturer’s instruction for application and use.
• Tuck shirt into pants and pants into boots to limit access of ticks.
• Check for ticks frequently paying special attention to exposed skin (arms, armpits, neck and head).
• If ticks are attached, remove with tweezers near the embedded tick mouthparts close to the skin. Apply steady pressure to pull the tick straight out without twisting or jerking. After tick removal, thoroughly disinfect the bite site and wash your hands with soap and water. If concerned and if you notice signs of infection, consult your healthcare provider.
• Save the tick by preserving it in a clean container containing rubbing alcohol. If you visit your health care provider take the tick with you.
The blacklegged tick is active this time of year. Take the reasonable precautions above and go out and enjoy the wonderful Ohio wildlife and have a safe and productive hunting season.
Visit the Laboratory of Medical Zoology, http://?www.tickdiseases.org, for more information on ticks and tick testing.