What You Can Do: Ticks

Overview

What You Can Do: Ticks

It is not usually feasible to control ticks themselves, especially since they are most common in our parks and open spaces. Instead, you can reduce your risk of tick-borne illness by avoiding tick bites, and removing ticks properly if you are bitten.

A tick clings to a blade of grass.
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Preventing Tick Bites

The best way to reduce your risk of tick-borne illness is to avoid being bitten by a tick.

When outdoors in areas where there may be ticks, wear long pants and sleeves. Don’t wear shorts, sleeveless shirts, or sandals. Tuck pants into socks or boots, and shirts into pants. Light-colored clothing makes it easier to see ticks before they attach to the skin.

The CDC recommends repellents containing 20-30% DEET for protection against ticks. These should be applied according to the label instructions only. Insect-repellent clothing is also available.

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Removing a Tick

Even if you are bitten by an infected tick, removing it promptly can reduce your chances of becoming infected with a tick-borne disease. Always check yourself for ticks after outdoor activity, and if you find one remove it right away. In most cases, a tick removed within 48 hours of attachment will not transmit disease.

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Preventing Ticks in Your Yard

If you or your pet are getting ticks in your own yard, there are things you can do make the environment less hospitable to ticks. However, you should still continue to take precautions against tick bites, including checking for ticks after going outdoors.

The ticks that bite people and pets usually feed on wild animals, like deer and rodents. Discouraging wildlife from living on or visiting your property may help reduce the number of ticks. You can use fencing to keep deer out of your yard. Rodents can be discouraged by eliminating their sources of food and shelter.

General information

Frequently Asked Questions about Ticks

How can I protect myself from ticks?

  • When outdoors in areas where there may be ticks, wear long pants and sleeves. Don’t wear shorts, sleeveless shirts, or sandals. Tuck pants into socks or boots, and shirts into pants. Light-colored clothing makes it easier to see ticks before they attach to the skin.
  • The insect repellents that work for mosquitoes are effective against ticks. Look for formulas containing DEET. These should be applied according to the label instructions only.

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