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
After outdoor activities in areas where there may be ticks, check
yourself, your children, your pets, and your gear carefully for
ticks. Remember to check areas that cannot be easily seen, such
as inside and around ears, on the scalp, and under arms.
Showering soon after being outdoors can help rinse away
unattached ticks, and will allow you to check all areas of your
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.
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
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.