Tick-borne disease is a serious health-concern across the Upper Midwest, particularly for anyone working outdoors. Farmers might be more likely to walk through tall grass, thick brush, and wooded areas that ticks thrive in.
Taking precautionary and preventive steps during tick season can help you avoid tick-borne diseases, but knowing signs and symptoms is important as well.
- Do you work in areas where ticks are common? These include areas of brush, wooded areas, and tall grasses.
- Are you doing daily tick checks? Use a mirror to look at all parts of your body (armpits, behind ears, groin, etc.)
- Are you familiar with conditions that ticks prefer for habitat?
- Do you use best practices for removing a tick? (Use a tweezers to grab it by its mouthparts, pull straight off, clean area, note symptoms after.)
- Are you wearing protective clothing? Wearing long sleeves, long pants, and long socks helps keep ticks off skin.
- Have you considered treating a set of clothing with permethrin? Permethrin kills ticks on contact and will last several washings but should not be used on skin.
- Have you washed or dried clothing on high heat following working in an area where ticks are common?
- Are you familiar with types of ticks in your region and how to identify them?
- Are you wearing light colored clothing when working in tick territory? They are easier to spot.
- Are you using a tick-specific EPA-approved repellent on skin that is exposed?
You and/or your employee(s) can download and print a pdf checklist to complete safety checks on your farm. Keep the completed forms for follow-up, future reference and inspections.DOWNLOAD PDF CHECKLIST
Disclaimer: The facts and information listed above are suggestions for your safety, but are in no way a comprehensive and exhaustive list of all actions needed to ensure your safety.
AG HEALTH AND SAFETY SPOTLIGHT:
Read our Spotlight Story on tick-borne diseases by Scott Heiberger, Communications Manager with the National Farm Medicine Center.
WHAT IS THE UMASH FARM SAFETY CHECK?
The UMASH Farm Safety Check is a quick monthly review to identify and fix potential hazards before they cause harm to your family and employees – and your bottom line.
Each month, Farm Safety Check will focus on a different topic, offering checklists and tips for identifying hazards, along with resources to remedy any problems. Use the Farm Safety Check checklists and resources to reinforce safety practices throughout the year and help prevent incidents and injuries for workers, visitors, and farm families.