Chances are you may encounter some ticks in your lifetime—especially if spending time outdoors is on the itinerary. Ticks and the diseases they carry are on the rise; protect yourself and your group on your next outdoor trip with these tips.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, has a wealth of information on the topic of keeping yourself (and even any furry friends who may be traveling) safe from ticks.
Before Going Outside
Know where to expect them. Ticks live and thrive in bushy, wooded areas; keep an eye out while in places like this where you might find your group doing activities such as camping, hiking, hunting or simply going for a casual walk.
Don't touch! Avoiding contact is key. That means doing things like treating clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin, being sure to walk in the center of trails and using insect repellents registered through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
After Coming Inside
Check your clothing and body. Ticks can easily be brought inside from clinging to your body or clothing. Gross, right? You can tumble dry clothes on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after coming inside; additional time is needed if your clothing is wet or damp. Be sure to also conduct a full body check with a mirror, paying close attention to:
- Under the arms
- In and around the ears
- Inside the belly button
- Back of the knees
- In and around hair
- Between the legs
- Around the waist
Don't wait to shower. It's recommended to shower within two hours of coming indoors as this may help wash off unattached ticks and is also a good opportunity to do a tick check. Showering within this time frame helps reduce your risk of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for Groups Today.