Ticks are a spring and summer time hazard. Chances are that you will have at least one tick bite at some point during your life, especially if you enjoy spending time outside hiking, camping or hunting. Ticks are small insects that can be difficult to spot but they spread some serious illnesses and all need to be treated with antibiotics. There are things that you can do to prevent yourself from being bitten by a tick.
Be Careful Where You Go
It is important to avoid areas prone to ticks. If you love to spend time outdoors, you may be thinking that you really do not want to stop going outside just to avoid getting a tick. You can still enjoy time outside and be aware of areas that are more prone to have ticks. After spending time in these areas, just be sure to check yourself carefully. Ticks like areas with long grass, leaf litter and bushes that they can crawl on. You may be safer if you stay on the trail, but you can still get ticks.
Wear Insect Repellent
Insect repellent is one of the best ways to protect yourself from ticks. DEET is one of the most effective insect repellents for ticks and it works well on mosquitoes too. Be sure to apply it before you go into any tick prone areas and to reapply as necessary if you are spending a significant time outside. If you do not want to apply it all over, spraying the bottom on your pants and your wrists and around the collar of your shirt can help prevent ticks from attaching.
Ticks need to attach directly to your skin, so dressing appropriately can make a big difference in how easy it is for a tick to attach to you. They are not face crawlers and so these steps really can make a difference. It is best to wear long pants and long sleeves. Tucking your shirt into your pants, and your pants into your socks give the ticks fewer places to find a way onto your skin. Some hunters will wear rubber bands around their wrists to close off that additional access point, especially since they are sitting still for hours at a time.
Check for Ticks
It is important to check for ticks in order to protect yourself. You should check your clothing as soon as you leave the area that is prone to ticks. Do this before you get in the car. Just brushing down your arms and legs and even your back will prevent you from bringing any ticks home with you. Once you get home, you should check yourself and shower right away to make sure you do not have any ticks. Check your hair line, along the backs of your knees, between your legs and under your arms for ticks.
Treat Your Yard
Another way you can protect yourself is to treat your yard for ticks. Treating your yard will mean that you do not have to worry about picking up ticks while enjoying time outside. Ticks can come into your yard on the back of squirrel or other wild animals and easily attach to you.