Clothing acts as a barrier between ticks and your skin. We can enhance this barrier with a few helpful products.
Take the following steps to protect yourself from tick bites:
Wear a hat and light-colored clothing, including long-sleeved shirts and long pants tucked into boots or socks.
Use insect repellents that provide protection for the amount of time you will be outdoors:
Follow repellent label directions for use.
Use repellents containing 20%-30% DEET on your exposed skin and clothing to prevent tick bites.
Reapply repellents as needed.
Use repellents such as Permethrin for greater protection.
Permethrin kills ticks on contact.
Permethrin can be used on clothing but should not be used on skin.
One application of permethrin to pants, socks, and shoes typically stays effective through several washings.
Pre-treated clothing is available and remains protective for many (up to 70) washings.
Check your skin and clothes for ticks every day. The immature forms of these ticks are very small and may be hard to see.
Shower or bathe as soon as possible after working outdoors to wash off and check for ticks.
Remember to check your hair, underarms, and groin for ticks.
Immediately remove ticks from your body using fine-tipped tweezers.
Grasp the tick firmly and as close to your skin as possible.
Pull the tick's body away from your skin with a steady motion.
Clean the area with soap and water.
Removing infected ticks within 24 hours reduces your risk of being infected with the Lyme disease bacterium.
Wash and dry work clothes in a hot dryer to kill any ticks present.
Learn the symptoms of tick-borne diseases.
If you develop symptoms of a tick-borne disease seek medical attention promptly. Be sure to tell your health care provider that you work outdoors in an area where ticks may be present.
Video produced by: Martha's Vineyard Productions