- Know where to expect ticks. Ticks live in moist and humid environments, particularly in or near wooded or grassy areas. You may come into contact with ticks during outdoor activities around your home or when walking through vegetation such as leaf litter or shrubs. Always walk in the center of trails, in order to avoid ticks.
- Use a repellent with DEET (on skin or clothing) or permethrin (on clothing) and wear long sleeves, long pants and socks. Products containing permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear which can remain protective through several washings. Repellents containing 20% or more DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) can be applied to the skin, and they can protect up to several hours. Always follow product instructions! Parents should apply this product to their children, avoiding the hands, eyes, and mouth.
Ticks are an annoying and potentially dangerous pest throughout most of the United States and the world. Not only do they suck your blood (and not in some sexy, sparkly vampire way either), they can carry diseases such as lyme disease, tick paralysis, Rock Mountain spotted fever, and more.
Protecting yourself, your children, and your animals against tick bites is therefore very important. Although there are chemicals that can help repel and kill ticks on yourself, your children, and your animals, some work better than others. In fact, a significant minority of people claim that DEET, one of the most popular, not only doesn’t repel ticks, it actually attracts them!
Some tick-repelling chemicals also have serious health concerns, especially for young children and pets. Some dogs have very serious reactions to certain chemicals, including seizures and even death, and unfortunately there’s no real way to know in advance if your dog will be one of them.