Ticks can infect humans with bacteria, viruses, and parasites that may cause serious illness. Taking the proper precautions can reduce your chances of getting a tick-borne disease. By following a few simple outdoor preparedness steps you can protect yourself from tick bites.
Before you go outdoors apply a repellent with DEET on your skin. By using a repellent containing 20% or more DEET you can protect yourself up to several hours. Products containing permethrin kill ticks. Permethrin may be used to treat footwear, clothing and camping gear.
After you come inside make sure you check your clothing for ticks. If you find any, remove them, and then place your clothing in the dryer on high heat for at least an hour (just in case you missed any). Take a shower at least within two hours of coming indoors. This can reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease and wash off any unattached ticks. This is also the time to conduct a full body tick check.
If you should find an attached tick remove it immediately with tweezers. Pull it straight out as close to the skin as possible. If you experience a fever or rash, or otherwise become ill, within days or weeks after the bite seek medical care.
Don’t forget to use the proper (veterinarian approved) tick control products on any pets that spend time outdoors.