But come on, you’re not really going to let these little creepers keep you from your favorite summer activities, are you? They’re lazy opportunists who can’t even fly or jump. Their whole diabolical strategy is to sit in a good spot waiting for someone to walk by so they can hitch a ride (and a meal). With some common sense and a sharp eye, you’ll outwit the tick this summer.
Follow these tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
• Walk this way. Walk in the center of trails and avoid areas with high grass and leaf litter.
• Tuck. If possible, wear pants instead of shorts and tuck them into your socks.
• Meet Mr. DEET. Use repellents that contain 20 percent or more DEET. Check out the Environmental Protection Agency site to see what repellents are registered.
• Treat your clothing. Products containing permethrin can be used to treat clothing and provide protection through several washings.
• Tick check. Upon returning from any woods or areas with tall grass, perform a tick check using a full-length mirror. Parents should check children as well, especially their hair.
• No free rides. By carefully checking pets and gear, you can make sure none of the little buggers hitch a ride into your home. Throwing clothes in the dryer on high heat for an hour will kill any remaining ticks.
• Stay vigilant. If you find that a tick has bitten you, watch for symptoms such as a red bulls eye rash followed by a fever. They may be early warning signs of Lyme disease requiring medical attention.
To learn more about ticks, warning signs of the diseases they can carry, and other prevention tips, visit http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/.