Stay safe in the outdoors

  1. Use insect repellent on your skin and clothing. Look for repellents that are labeled with how long they are effective for, the percentage of active ingredients they contain, and detailed instructions on how to safely use them. Approved products will also have a registration number. Adults should apply repellent products to children that are approved for their use. You may need to reapply repellents after several hours.
  2. Consider purchasing clothing that has been treated with Permethrin. Permethrin products should never be used on skin. It remains effective on clothing through several washings. Permethrin is also sold under the names Permanone and Duranon.
  3. Wear light-coloured clothing. You’ll have a better chance of seeing a dark tick crawling on you before it makes its way to your skin.
  4. Wear long pants with sneakers or hiking boots. Tuck your pant legs into your socks, and keep your shirt tucked into your waistband. In areas where ticks are abundant, you may even want to wrap duct tape around your ankles, over the top of your socks. You’ll look ridiculous, but it makes it harder for ticks to find your skin.
  5. Outfit yourself in bug repellent apparel. Want a sporty, outdoor look with built-in tick protection? Sporting goods stores often sell  clothing that is pretreated with permethrin. The treatment lasts for up to 70 washes.
  6. Stay on the trail. Ticks hang out in high vegetation, waiting for a passing host. When your leg brushes through the vegetation, the tick transfers to your body. Walk on designated trails, and avoid blazing your own through meadows or other high vegetation areas.
  7. Avoid tick-infested places. In some places, ticks may be too abundant to avoid, even with the best repellents and long pants. If you venture a few feet into a wooded area or field and find your legs covered with ticks, get out of there and remove all ticks!.
  8. Be vigilant – do a daily tick check. Strip down and search all those places that ticks love to hide: in your hair, under your arms, between your legs, behind the knees, and even in your belly button.
  9. Put your clothes in the dryer, and tumble them on high heat. Research shows many ticks can make it through the washing machine, even when you wash in hot water. Most ticks will die during a cycle in the hot, dry air of your clothes dryer, though.
  10. Check your pets and your kids before letting them loose in the house. Ticks can  drop off on carpets or furniture..
Someone pauses on the trail to tuck their pants into their socks.
Tuck your pants into your socks to prevent ticks from getting inside your pants.

Commonly used repellents

  • Icaridin
  • DEET