TickSmart Tips

TickSmart™ Tips for TickSafe Living!

Timely TickSmart™ Tips help keep you safe during tick season. Be sure to check back every time you visit TERC, as we're predicting a very active tick season this year!

TickSmart Tip #6

TickSmart™ Tip#6: ALWAYS HAVE POINTY TWEEZERS AND A ZIPLOCK BAG

If you don't have one, it's important to be prepared by having a good pointy tweezers for safe tick removal in your home and car. You might want to try TickEase or ProTickMe. Both are very reasonably priced. Keep the tweezer in a ziplock bag so that you always have something on hand to save the tick when you use the tweezers to remove it.

TickSmart Tip #4

TickSmart™ Tip#5: "DE-TICK" WITH DUCT TAPE.

To get the larvae off of you and the dog before they bite, we recommend using sticky duct tape as soon as you notice the ticks latched on. If you don't find them until they're already biting, they may not come off as easily, and you may need a fine-pointed tweezer to pluck them off. Remember TickSmart Tip #01: De-ticking clothes is best done by throwing everything into a hot dryer for 10 minutes, even before washing. The ticks will dessicate. Washing clothes first does not kill them but drying does.

TickSmart Tip #4

TickSmart™ Tip#4: CHECK “BELOW THE BELT” FOR POPPY-SEED SIZED OR SMALLER TICKS WHILE SITTING ON THE TOILET.

Doing DAILY TICK CHECKS is an effective way to prevent disease transmission. But INSPECTING all of those places where tiny ticks might crawl is - DIFFICULT! We've got an app for knowing where to look and for knowing what to look for. And now, an innovative BEST PRACTICE for making daily tick checks as easy as, well, sitting on the toilet! Try it next time; just look down. It's a lot easier to see many of those "below the belt" places where people commonly find nymphal and larval ticks than while leaning over or contorting to look in the mirror. And most people practice toilet-sitting at least once or twice a day.

TickSmart Tip #3

TickSmart™ Tip#3: SPRAY THE INSIDE SURFACES OF PANTS AND SHORTS WITH REPELLENT, TOO.

Tiny ticks crawl up, often UNDER your clothing and not on the outside. That's why it's important to spray inside surfaces of pants and shorts with repellent, too. To be effective, the permethrin in tick repellent clothing must contact ticks. While more people are heeding our message and relying on tick repellent clothing for tick bite protection, those that use sprays to treat their own clothes may not be getting enough active ingredient to where tiny ticks are crawling. When spraying pants and shorts, turn the lower portions (on pants, the bottom 8-10 inches) of the leg INSIDE-OUT and spray that first. Then treat the entire outside surface, too.

Our studies showed that deer ticks need only a brief exposure to properly treated tick repellent clothing (less than 30 seconds) to obtain a lethal dose. But don't worry, because the margin of safety for humans is ridiculously high. Commercially-treated tick repellent clothes, or those treated using soaking kits, are covered with permethrin inside and out. So, SPRAY CLOTHES INSIDE AND OUT, too.

TickSmart Tip #2

TickSmart™ Tip#2: SPRAY FAMILY'S SHOES WITH TICK REPELLENT

Whether your family life includes highly active kids playing in your own backyard, regular hiking or camping trips, or family golf outings that include the inevitable slice or hook into the woods; You should spray all your families shoes with tick repellent! Ticks crawl up from the leaf litter, in wooded areas or in your own yard around stonewalls. Spraying shoes with tick repellent is the first line of defense for you and your family and is also the most effective way to kill ticks before they bite.

TickSmart Tip #1

TickSmart™ Tip#1: DRY CLOTHES FIRST - THEN WASH

Most ticks are VERY sensitive to dryness. The very first action to take after working in the yard is to strip clothing off and throw it in the dryer. Deer ticks are most susceptible, while American dog ticks, Lone Star ticks and other Amblyomma species are more robust. To be sure that each species achieves fatal crispiness, leave clothes in the dryer on high for 10 minutes.

In our study, gas dryers got hotter than electric dryers, so you might want to add 5 minutes if you own an electric dryer. Believe it or not, ticks were not killed by washing, even in hot water. Clothing just left in the hamper or on the floor may put the next person to touch it at risk. Dry first - then wash.