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URI tick experts to host demonstration on using tick repellents

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

With summer camp season here, parents should learn about long-lasting,
clothing-only repellents to protect their children from Lyme disease

KINGSTON, R.I. – June 19, 2006 – The most effective way of protecting oneself from tick bites is by using long-lasting tick repellents on clothing, according to URI entomologist Thomas Mather.

But many people aren’t aware or certain of the proper use of clothing-only repellents. So Mather and his tick-bite prevention outreach team will offer two workshops in applying clothing-only repellents. The workshops are aimed specifically at parents preparing to send kids off to camp over the next several weeks. Parents can bring the clothes that the kids will wear at camp and get them treated at the workshops to be held in South Kingstown and Exeter next week.

“We’re right in the middle of the peak of tick season,” Mather said, “and this is also the time when children are gearing up to go to summer camp, where many kids will come face to face with lots of ticks. Applying clothing-only repellents is a simple and effective way to help protect your kids from tick-bites even when you are not there. “

The demonstrations will be held on Wednesday, June 28 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Peace Dale Library in South Kingstown, and on Thursday, June 29 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Exeter Public Library in Exeter. Wildwood Outfitters of Wakefield will be on hand to supply kits for impregnating socks, shorts, and shirts with repellent. The materials cost for treating one outfit with repellent is $6. URI tick experts will provide free treatment of shoes for all workshop participants.

Once dry, clothing-only repellents bind to the fibers of clothing and are effective for up to six weeks and through multiple washings. They contain the most powerful tick-repellent available, Permethrin, which kills ticks and other insects on contact but is not absorbed by human skin so it is safe when used as directed.

For more information about the workshops, call the URI Center for Vector-Borne Disease at 401-874-2928. Space will be limited and free registration, including the number of outfits to be treated, should be completed by June 23. Information about tick control can also be found by visiting www.tickencounter.org.