Can YOU find the nymphal deer tick?
Ticks the size of poppy seeds, loaded with pathogens that can make you sick. Oh, my!
Right about now, we bet you're thinking "it's going to be a long summer." Wondering how you're gonna find them? Where to look? What to do if you do find one biting? Don't despair! May is the time to Get TickSmart.
First, REVIEW our "Top 10 Things Everyone Should Know About Ticks These Days". Understand the "enemy" - all ticks crawl up - and you'll better appreciate how the best tick bite protection starts from the ground up.
Next, PURCHASE some permethrin clothing repellent spray and treat all the shoes your family might wear in tick habitat. In one study, permethrin treated shoes provided 74 times the nymphal deer tick bite protection over untreated shoes. Do shoe treatments about once a month through the summer. It doesn't stain or smell when dry so the family doesn't even have to know you've protected them.
HAVE at least 2 outfits (socks, shorts/pants, shirt) appropriate to wear for activities where tickencounter risk is greatest (golf, walking dog, camping, gardening, hiking, mountain biking, just playing outdoors, birding, etc) for each family member. A few options here -- buy pre-treated new clothes (effective through 70 washes), use kits or sprays to treat your own clothes (5-6 washes), or send your favorite outdoor clothes to be treated commercially (70 washes). MOST IMPORTANTLY-WEAR the clothing! It doesn't work when left in your drawer or closet.
REMEMBER what you're looking for - nymphal ticks the size of poppy seeds - and do a daily tick check. Spend at least 2 or 3 minutes at bath time in a place with good lighting, checking all the places where your clothing constricts on your skin (and perhaps restricted ticks marching upward). We have a daily TickCheck shower card to help remind family and summer guests about this easy and important prevention strategy. If you live where Lone Star ticks or American dog ticks are more common, use our Tick Bite Locator to help focus daily tick check to where these ticks are commonly found.
If you have a dog, begin TREATING it with a product that provides detachment or rapid tick killing action. The last thing anyone wants is to find that Fido carried these little specks into the house on its fur, and now they're on you.
Higher Risk TickEncounter Activities
- Walking dog
- Mountain biking
- Playing outdoors near wooded edges
- Nature walks