Preventing tick bites, illnesses during summer months

State News

State DEP collects two times more deer tick nymphs this season

Christian Boyer of the Department of Environmental Protection prepares sample ticks for display. Pennsylvania Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Patrick McDonnell, and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today met at Boyd Big Tree Preserve to discuss the high prevalence of ticks in Pennsylvania, highlight the numerous diseases that ticks can carry and remind residents of ways they can protect against tick bites. Boyd Big Tree Preserve Harrisburg, PA – July 27, 2021

HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The Wolf administration discussed the high prevalence of ticks in the commonwealth this season, how to prevent tick-borne illnesses and treating tick bites on Tuesday.

The state Department of Environmental Protection says they collected two times more deer tick nymphs compared to last year. The nymphs are extremely small, the size of a poppy seed, which the department says is concerning.

“The increase in nymphs really drives home the message that we all need to adhere to the necessary precautions to stay safe from ticks,” said Patrick McDonnell, secretary, Department of Environmental Protection.

The administration offered way to reduce the chance of being bitten by a tick:

  • Cover exposed skin with lightweight and light-colored clothing
  • Avoid tick-infested habitats such as areas dense with shrubbery or tall grass
  • Use an EPA-approved insect repellent
  • Once returning home, immediately check yourself, children, and pets for ticks
  • Take a shower immediately to remove ticks that may be crawling on skin
  • If possible, dry clothing and gear in a dryer to kill any ticks

Ticks typically thrive in tall grass, brush and wooded areas, but deer ticks have been found in every county in the commonwealth and can live in any habitat, the DEP says.

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