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Dates to remember

May 20: Parents Forever, Mandan, 5-9 p.m.

May 28: 4-H district communication arts

With warmer spring weather, tick season is upon us. So far, we have identified the smaller black legged tick (or deer tick) from Clay County, Minn., and the larger dog ticks from areas of North Dakota and Minnesota. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following strategies for field workers and preventing tick bites:

• Minimize direct contact with ticks by avoiding woody and high grass areas and walking in the center of trails, if possible. Ticks are most active in May through August in North Dakota.

• Use repellent with 20-30% DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) on exposed skin and clothing. This should provide several hours of protection. Or wear clothing treated with permethrin.

• Quickly find and remove any ticks from body by using a tweezers. Grasp tick close to skin and pull straight up to avoid breaking off the tick’s mouthparts in the skin. Clean bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

• Inspect and bath yourself within two hours after coming indoors to find any ticks crawling on you and to remove them before they attach to feed on your blood. Ticks like to hides in hair, armpits and other areas that may be difficult to inspect.

• Wash any clothing that you were wearing soon and dry in high heat for an hour to kill any ticks. Otherwise, ticks can attach to you later after hitchhiking on your clothes into your home.

• Reduce tick habitat near your home by keeping lawns mowed around the home. Place a 3-foot-wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns, patio or play areas and wooded areas to prevent tick movement. Exclude wildlife (especially deer) that may be carrying ticks into your yard.

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Karla Meikle is the Morton County Extension agent for 4-H youth development.

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