Last week we wrote about the potential for a particularly large outbreak of black-legged ticks and the related incidence of Lyme’s disease. The Hudson Valley is poised for the worst tick season in decades this year. Today, we will focus on tips to prevent tick bites.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), basic steps can be taken to reduce the chance of tick bites.
1. Avoid wooded and bushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
2. Walk in the center of trails.
3. Use a repellent containing 20% or more DEET.
4. Wear long pants and long sleeves.
5. Use a repellent with Permethrin on clothing and gear.
6. Conduct a full-body tick check, particularly under the arms, in and around ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs around the waist and especially in hair.
7. Take a bath or shower within two hours after coming indoors.
8. Examine gear and pets.
9. Tumble dry clothes on high heat for an hour to kill remaining ticks.
With these simple procedures, you should be able to enjoy a fun, safe spring and summer. Next week we’ll discuss signs of tick bites and, if bitten, what type of treatment you should seek.