Avoiding Tick Bites

General

Tick season starts in April and goes through the summer until September. Right when the weather warms and it’s easier to be active outside, the risk of tick bites is the highest. These parasites can carry serious diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. It is important to protect yourself from ticks when going outside.

Where do ticks live?

Ticks are most common in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas. Ticks can also ride on wild animals and pets. Spending time hiking, hunting, gardening, walking a dog, or other outside activities can put you in contact with ticks.

How do I prevent tick bites?

Avoid areas that are especially grassy or brushy. When you go outside, apply an EPA registered insect repellant containing DEET or another effective chemical to clothes. Wear long sleeves and pants, and treat frequently worn outdoor clothing items with permethrin.

How do I protect myself after being outside?

When you come inside, check your clothing for ticks and send items through the dryer on high heat. Taking a shower as soon as possible has been shown to reduce the likelihood of getting a tickborne illness. Also make sure to check your body for attached ticks.

How do I do a body check for ticks?

After coming inside, check your entire body for ticks. Use a handheld mirror to look at hard to reach spaces. Ticks frequently appear under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, on the back of the knees, in and around the hair, between the legs, and around the waist. Make sure to check any children for ticks as well.

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