The CDC recommends disposing of live ticks by placing them in alcohol and sealing them in a bag or container or, alternatively, flushing them down the toilet. Do not crush ticks with your hands or fingers.
Once a tick is removed, wash the site of the bite as well as your hands with soap and warm water and use an antiseptic on and around the area of the bite.
Many people have heard old wives’ tales about tick removal, but those tricks – burning a tick with a match or covering it with nail polish or petroleum jelly – should be avoided.
Help Monitor Ticks in Illinois
This year, as tick season gets underway, University of Illinois scientists are launching a new program, called I-TICK, to find out more about where and when Illinois residents are encountering ticks.
Through the program, several hubs have been identified throughout the state, and these hubs will serve as the distribution point for tick collection kits. The hubs will then collect the kits to send to university researchers for further study.
I-TICK will rely on volunteers throughout Illinois, working with their local hubs, to collect ticks they find on themselves and to record data for the next five days, reporting this information and returning their collection kit within two weeks of the tick encounter. According to the university, ideal volunteer participants for the program are those who work outdoors regularly.
I-TICK scientists hope to collect 1,000 samples this year. The information obtained will contribute to the data on tick-borne illnesses and how it affects the health of Illinois residents.
If you are interested in participating in the I-TICK program, you can contact the University of Illinois Extension office for Will, Grundy and Kankakee counties at 815.727.9296.
Lead image via Shutterstock
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