Tick Bite Prevention
The bad news is tick populations are spreading, and people are at greater risk now than ever of acquiring tick bites, and being exposed to the pathogens ticks may carry. The great news is tick borne diseases are totally preventable! There are several key steps you can take to minimize your chances of encountering these nefarious creepy crawlers while you and your loved ones adventure outside.
Clothing: Wear light coloured clothing so you’ll have an easier time spotting the contrasting darker ticks. Ticks will have a much harder time finding a spot to bite if you wear long sleeves, shirts tucked into waistbands, pant legs tucked into socks, and closed toe shoes.
Areas to avoid: Ticks are most often found in tall grass, shrubbery, leaf litter, wood piles, rock walls, and on forest floors. Be aware of your surroundings and careful to avoid shady, moist areas, as they are ideal tick habitats. Stay on trails instead of wandering through overgrown floor level vegetation.
Repellents and removers: Make sure to spray yourself with a proven effective tick repellent, and reapply as needed. Bring along a tick remover or tick removal kit with you to safely remove an embedded tick as soon as possible.
Tick Checks: Conduct regular tick checks of yourself, your children and your pets, during and after your time outside. Children and pets acquire the greatest number of tick bites, likely due to their closer proximity to the threat and they're generally more rambunctious, less cautious behaviour. Be sure to have someone help you to check the areas of your body you cannot examine yourself (i.e. scalp).
Shower: Have a shower within two hours of arriving home from outside. A shower will help to wash off unattached ticks, and will allow you to have a thorough examination of your body.
High Heat Dryer: Because they can be quite small and might wiggle their way into pockets, hems, and other unseen spots, you can throw your clothes into the dryer on high heat for a minimum of ten minutes to kill any ticks you can’t see. You will need to dry for longer if your clothing is damp. We suggest using natural material dryer balls to lift and separate your clothing for more thorough and efficient drying/heating.