Tick bites are annoying, but they can also be deadly. Lyme’s disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and other nasty illnesses are spread by ticks. The most difficult part about preventing tick bites is that ticks are so small, unnoticeable, and hard to detect. Here are some tips to help you avoid tick bites and stop them in their tracks.
Cover Your Skin
If you’re going into the woods or other tick-infested areas, it’s best to wear protective clothing that covers your skin. You should wear long sleeves and long pants, as well as boots, gloves, and even netting over your face and neck, depending on the conditions. You must be careful of ticks crawling up your pant legs, so you should tuck your pants into a pair of long socks. The less skin you have exposed, the better.
You should also be wearing light-colored clothing. Light-colored clothing makes it easier for you to spot ticks that may be crawling on you, and dark-colored clothing is more attractive to ticks because it’s similar to the color of trees.
Wear Tick Repellent
They have special bug repellents that are specially-designed to repel ticks. While other bug repellents can deter ticks, specially-formulated ones are more effective. The chemical DEET is good for repelling ticks, but you should look for repellents that are 20 percent DEET. Permethrin is another chemical that works for repelling ticks. You should wear these repellents all over your clothing and your skin. You can even put it on your gear if you’re hiking or camping.
Perform Tick Checks
At least once per day you should perform a full-body tick check. Tick checks can help you find ticks before they bite, and it can alert you to presence of ticks inside your skin as soon as possible. A good place to perform a tick check is in the shower. Very carefully check your entire body for ticks. You should carefully feel over your entire scalp, and check places such as under your arms, behind your knees, in your ears, and in your belly button. Ticks can be extremely small, so perform your tick checks as slowly and thoroughly as possible.
Stay Out of the Woods
Ticks are most frequently found in the woods, in high grasses, and in overgrowth and bushes. They can also be found in swampy, wet areas. You should avoid these areas that are more prone to tick infestation as much as possible. When you’re hiking in the woods, you should always stay on the trail. If you go to where the ticks are, expect to find some on you, too.
Check Your Gear
Ticks can also hitch rides on your gear and clothing, so you need to check them as thoroughly as you check your own body. As soon as you get home from being outside, remove your clothing. If you can, it’s best to wash them right away. You should dry your clothing on high heat, because doing so will kill any ticks who’ve survived the wash cycle.
Susan Wright is a practicing veterinarian of more than 10 years and is a dog bark collar expert and often shares tips on pests such as ticks and their impact on our lifestyle.