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