(MT. VERNON, IL) — Jefferson County Health Department Environmental Health Director Brian Wells is reminding residents to check yourself, family members, and pets promptly when coming in from the outdoors for ticks. Wells encourages individuals to follow simple tips to avoid tick bites such as wearing light colored, protective clothing such as long sleeved shirts, pants, boots or sturdy shoes and a head covering, apply insect repellant containing 10-30 percent DEET primarily to clothes, walk in the center of outdoor trails so weeds do not brush against you, check yourself, children, other family members, and pets for ticks every two to three hours, and remove any tick promptly by grasping it with tweezers, as close to the skin as possible and gently, but firmly pulling it straight out. Wash your hands and the tick bite with soap and water. If you become ill with fever and/or rash after being in an area where ticks may be, contact your health care provider. For more information on ticks, go to IDPH’s webpage at www.dph.illinois.gov.