As warmer weather sets in across the country, experts are warning about a potential “tick explosion” this year.
The website Tickencounter.org is predicting high tick activity in most of the eastern United States, as well as the Midwest, Plains states and West Coast. Deer ticks are the most prevalent species in the Northeast and Midwest. Deer, chipmunks and rodents all carry ticks. Spraying is one way to keep ticks out of your yard.
1. Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
2. Walk in the center of trails.
3. Use products that contain permethrin on clothing. Treat clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks and tents with products containing 0.5 percent permethrin. It remains protective through several washings.
4. Shower as soon as possible after coming indoors — preferably within 2 hours — to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you.
5. Conduct a full-body tick check using a full-length mirror to view all parts of your body upon return from tick-infested areas.
6. Parents should check their children for ticks under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and especially in their hair.
7. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets, coats, and day packs.
8. Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors.
9. If the clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended. Cold and medium temperature water will not kill ticks effectively. If the clothes cannot be washed in hot water, tumble dry on low heat for 90 minutes or high heat for 60 minutes. The clothes should be warm and completely dry.
10. Use repellent that contains 20 percent or more DEET, picaridin or IR3535 on exposed skin for protection that lasts several hours.
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