Most ticks don’t carry disease, but you can never tell by looking at them, which do. The best way to avoid tick bites and tick-borne diseases is to prevent them from ever coming in contact with your skin. Here are several tips to remain tick-free.
Avoid areas where ticks are prevalent. Avoid wooded areas, tall grass, and brush. Ticks are most prevalent from April through September so be extra cautious during these warmer months.
Choose clothing carefully: When outside, especially in the woods or tall grasses, cover as much exposed skin as possible. Tuck your pants into your socks. Wear lighter colors so ticks are easier to find if they are carried home. When working with leaves, wear gloves and tuck your shirtsleeves into them.
Running clothes through the dryer for twenty minutes will kill any ticks that hitched a ride with you.
Apply a repellent. Many bug repellents are labeled for use as a tick deterrent. Those with DEET are the most effective.
Perform a thorough body inspection. If you have been outdoors during the height of tick season, check your body carefully for ticks. If you covered all exposed skin, ticks would crawl upward toward the head and neck. Be sure to check those areas thoroughly.
Ticks prefer warm, moist areas and tend to choose some body parts more than others including armpits, behind knees, belly button, between legs, around the ears, and around the waist.
A shower will help wash away any ticks that are not embedded in the skin.
“CDC – Preventing Tick Bites – Ticks.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2010. http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/on_people.html.
“American Lyme Disease Foundation.” American Lyme Disease Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2010. http://www.aldf.com/lyme.shtml.