How to avoid tick bites

What you can do

Deer ticks like moist and humid conditions and shade. While it is a good idea to take preventive measures against ticks year-round, be extra vigilant between April and August, when ticks, often the size of a poppy seed, are most active. Even if you do not recall being bitten by a tick, call a doctor if you experience an unexpected summer fever or odd rash after being in a tick-infested area.

►Avoid shady areas within five feet of tall grass, heavy leaf litter, and brushy vegetation.

►Walk in the center of trails.

► Use permethrin tick repellent on shoes, clothing, and gear. Its protection lasts through several washings. Applying repellents containing DEET on skin can provide added protection.

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►Throw clothes into a hot dryer for 10 minutes after being in tick habitat, before washing. Washing clothes first does not kill ticks.

►Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors to more easily find ticks that are crawling on or attached to you.

► Conduct a full-body tick check using a hand-held or full-length mirror. Parents should check their children’s hair, under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, and around the waist.

► Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing, gear, and pets, then attach to a person later.

►Ensure you are using products on your pet that can quickly kill ticks.

►Remember that ticks can be active on warm winter days.

SOURCES: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; tickencounter.org

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