November 18, 2020
Preventing tick bites is not my favorite subject. That said, we see dog and deer ticks frequently.
Pretty much everyone in my family has had a close call with almost being bitten. But we find them pretty much immediately before they have a chance to latch on.
This year has been especially bad, probably because there are so many tick hosts around. We’ve got more than the usual numbers of chipmunks, mice, moles, voles and deer.
These animals are the vector for the ticks. By this I mean this is how they spread into my yard.
Still, I’ve been lucky that I haven’t been bitten. My “plan for tick bite prevention” is working.
Preventing Tick Bites
So what’s my plan? Here’s the rules I live by when it comes to preventing tick bites:
1. Cut the grass. Except the areas where I’m trying to encourage beneficial insects, I keep the grass trimmed.
Ticks like to sit on the tops of tall brush and jump on to you when you walk by. Don’t give them a spring board if you can avoid it.
2. Don’t wear shorts or short sleeve shirts. Even if it’s too hot, I try to wear long pants, long socks and long sleeve shirts. I’m almost always able to do this in spring when it isn’t too warm and ticks are especially active.
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3. Wear light colored clothing. Dark clothing makes it hard to see ticks. It’s much easier to see them when you’re wearing light colored clothing.
4. Spray DEET on clothes. I’m not a big fan of using DEET products like Deep Woods Off. I’m pretty sure they are toxic.
Still, I’m willing to chance the toxic effects of DEET in order to avoid the little buggers. I never spray it on my skin, only on my hat, shirt, pants and shoes.
I’m sure some probably gets through my clothes to my skin, but I’m willing to take that chance. Ticks are the worst of two evils.
5. Perform tick inspections. As soon as I come inside, I check myself as thoroughly as possible.
Better yet, I get someone else to look me over. Or both.
I don’t have pets that go outside, but if I did, I would have them wear a flea and tick collar and look them over when they’ve been outside.
6. Shower. I don’t wait around to shower. I shower as soon as I come inside from garden.
7. Wash and dry. I make sure to wash and dry clothing with as high a dryer heat setting as the clothes can take.
Common thinking is to put the clothes in the dryer on high heat without washing them. If you spray DEET on your clothes, this is not a good idea.
This is because the chemical will get in your dryer. You don’t want that to happen.
Related articles you might enjoy:
- Beneficial Insects: Will They Help Your Garden? Absolutely!
- Cut and Come Again Scallions
- What will Keep Groundhogs Away?
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