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    YOUR ENVIRONMENT: Use precautions to prevent tick bites

    YOUR ENVIRONMENT: Use precautions to prevent tick bites

    Photo By Sgt. Patrick Kirby | A vile full of ticks found on the biologists from Fort Campbell Fish and Wildlife on...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Patrick Kirby 

    40th Public Affairs Detachment

    With all the wooded areas for training at Fort Campbell, tick bites are prevalent among Soldiers.
    Ticks go dormant to survive the cold temperatures of winter. They lay their eggs in leaf litter and when warm weather arrives they hatch or come back to their new life cycle. As the summer temperatures soar the tick population increases.
    A tick’s life span is three years. They start off as eggs, then hatch into larva, after the next winter they are nymphs and after their final winter they are adults that then lay eggs and continue the life cycle.

    The ticks will latch onto their host until totally engorged with the host’s blood, and then will fall off.
    The largest population of tick species on Fort Campbell is the Lone Star tick, followed by the American dog tick. Of the 2,332 ticks collected by environmental health technicians from the Environmental Health Center, Preventive Medicine, Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, 82 percent were Lone Star ticks, and 12 percent were American dog ticks. Additionally, about 1 percent of the ticks in the collection were the black-legged tick species, aka deer ticks.
    “The black-legged tick or the deer tick is pretty rare,” said Nita Hackwell, environmental health technician at the Environmental Health Center, Preventive Medicine, BACH. “Since 2000, when we started this program, we have caught eight. A lot of people think because there are a lot of deer around here we have a lot of deer ticks, but that’s not true.”
    There are some things people can do to lower their risk of having tick-infested yards.
    “The best thing to do for tick prevention is to cut the grass down low,” Hackwell said. “Don’t have any leaf litter in your yard. Ticks are afraid of drying out so they usually won’t be in really sunny areas, they mostly stay in the shade.”
    Tick-borne illnesses include Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, none of which are a concern at Fort Campbell, according to Hackwell.
    “In the ticks we have found here, we have never had a tick with Lyme Disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever,” she said.
    Ticks latch onto humans and animals by what is known as questing. They hang out on the edge of grass and leave their front legs hanging out. When a host walks by it latches on and heads for skin to bite into.
    “The best thing to do is create a physical and chemical barrier,” said Steven Hamilton, professor of biology and director of the Center for Field Biology at Austin Peay State University. “Ticks aren’t jumping down out of trees, they stay close to the ground to which they will retreat when they heat up.”

    Wearing pants tucked into boots, long-sleeved shirt tucked into the pants and DEET sprayed on any exposed skin will deter ticks from latching on to you.
    Pets also can transfer into the home exposing their humans to the ticks.
    “Be a responsible pet owner, treat your pets with flea, tick and heartworm preventatives,” Hamilton said. “Not only will this keep your pets healthy, but it reduces the likelihood that your pets will brings ticks into your yard or house.”
    If a tick is found, ensure to pull it off properly. If possible use tweezers, maintain steady, even, firm pressure and pull out the tick.
    “You don’t want to burn the tick off,” Hackwell said. “Don’t yank them, don’t twist them, or put any substance on them.”
    Putting anything on the tick will agitate it and can force it to regurgitate everything in its body into the host. Any removed ticks should be taken to the Environmental Health Center, Preventive Medicine, BACH, 2576 23rd St. The team can inform the client about what kind of tick it is, what possible diseases it could carry and possible symptoms. The tick is then sent out for disease testing.
    For more information about ticks, contact BACH’s Environmental Health Center at 270-412-3990.



    Date Taken: 06.07.2018
    Date Posted: 07.12.2018 17:35
    Story ID: 284038
    Location: FORT CAMPBELL, KY, US 

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