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How can I protect myself from ticks?

What are the best ways to prevent tick bites and reduce risk of Lyme disease?

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Ticks don't jump, they attach to you when you brush up against foliage, walk through tall grass or the wooded areas with leaves on the ground. Where there's mice, squirrels and chipmunks, along with a food source like acorns or crab apples, there are probably lots of ticks around. They especially like damp leaves, so keep an eye out any time walking through the woods or a field.

Here are some ways to prevent tick bites:

1) Spray Permethrin on clothing, pants, and shoes to help prevent ticks from crawling on you.
2) Spray Deet (at least 40%) on legs / arms / skin.
3) Tuck pants into socks and wear light colored and check your clothing for deer ticks crawler up your legs.
4) Strip off any clothing when you come home and put in the washer, then dry on high heat to kill any ticks attached to clothing.
5) Take a shower right away after getting home from a hike / bike in the woods and check your entire body (head to toes) for ticks.
6) If you find a tick on your body, remove it using a tick remover (or thin tweezer). Don't squeeze / kill the tick while it's in you, or else it might regurgitate and further increase your risk getting Lyme Disease. The sooner you remove the tick, the better off your chances of NOT getting Lyme Disease.

NOTE: If you remove the tick within the first hours after being bitten, the better your chances are for not contracting a tick borne illness. Some say a tick must be attached for 36-48 hours before the Lyme borreliosis bacteria can spread, so that's why early detection is so important to prevent complications of Lyme Disease. Essentially, the risk of Lyme disease transmission increases the longer time a tick is attached.

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