“The next time you step outside and head to your favorite place to take a walk, if it happens to be in tick habitat, here are some things to think about…”
- Dr. Thomas Mather, Tick Expert, University of Rhode Island Tick Encounter Resource Center
1. Walk down the center of the trail
Ticks are usually more abundant on the edges of trails, so walking down the center can help you avoid ticks that are waiting to jump onto the nearest host. It’s also important to understand that the simple act of stepping off the trail to let someone by can increase your risk of a tick encounter.
2. Tuck in your clothes–ideally, tick repellent clothes
Ticks will attach anywhere on your shoes or clothing and then crawl onto your skin. Wearing permethrin-treated clothing is the easiest way to keep ticks from latching on and crawling up, but whether you are wearing repellent clothes or not, Dr. Mather recommends tucking your shirt into your pants and your pants into your socks.
3. Remove your clothes after being in a tick habitat and put them in the dryer
Putting your clothing in the dryer after being out in a tick habitat can help remove ticks that may be hiding.
4. Do a thorough tick check
It’s important to do a thorough tick check on yourself, your kids, and your pets after being in a tick habitat, especially in areas where your clothing binds against your skin, such as your underarms. Learn more about Tick Checks on the Equip-4-Ticks resource center.