May through August is generally peak tick season, but ticks should not prevent you from enjoying the outdoors! Here are some safety tips for when you find yourself strolling in the woods during the spring and summer:
Wear proper clothing
Ticks will be much easier to spot when wearing light colored clothing. Being that ticks can be as small as a pinhead, it is almost impossible to spot them on dark clothing. Furthermore, make sure to wear long pants and tuck your pants into your socks. This prevents ticks from latching onto your legs. Additionally, tuck your shirt into your pants to keep them from entering your waistband. Remove and wash all clothing as soon as you get home.
Stay in the center of the trail
Do some research about the trail you’ll be on, and make sure it is wide and well-traveled. Ticks love to live in long, thick grass. Avoid these tall grassy areas and stay in the middle of the trail, being careful not to brush against the grass. Avoid sitting directly on the ground or logs along the trail.
Thoroughly tick check
It’s important to check yourself and pets for ticks when you are through hiking and again when you get home. Ticks have been known to catch a ride on gear and make their way into your home that way. Therefore, it’s a good idea to give all of your gear a quick once over too.
Wear clothing treated with permethrin because it kills ticks upon contact, unlike deet which only repels them. Permethrin is a pesticide that is similar to extracts of the chrysanthemum plant. You can buy clothing already treated with permethrin or treat your own clothing using a spray.