The trail isn’t like a nice yard: chances are, the grass in the area hasn’t been treated with tick control. You’re going to have to look out for yourself while hiking. Since ticks are a major disease vector, you’d be wise to take precautions to avoid them. The rules are simple: stay out of their territory, dress to keep them off, and use chemical tick control. Here are a few tips on how to do so.
It’s always a good idea to stay out of tall grass. It’s a hot spot for insects, germs, and other undesirables. Ticks are no exception — they need a source of water when they’re not feeding and prefer shady areas. Stick to the center of the trail and be conscious of your feet, ankles, and legs (especially any exposed skin) brushing past the plant life. You’re less likely to cross paths with a tick in a sunny, dry area.
Leave as little skin exposed as possible: wear long sleeves, high socks, and long pants. Light-colored clothing is better for detecting ticks. Tuck your pants into your socks and you’ll deny the bloodsuckers one of their favorite entrances.
Use Tick Control
Common chemical insect repellents for tick control are permethrin and DEET. DEET is best applied to skin and permethrin to clothes: using both at once can create a powerful suit of armor against sticks. DEET produces a scent insects finds repulsive, and exposure to permethrin can outright kill them. In addition to bug repellent-treated clothing, you can invest in a full-body bug screen, which will really keep them off.
If you’re concerned about a tick bite, get in contact with a doctor. Though most tick bites are benign, ticks can carry Lyme disease and the Powassan virus — better safe than sorry. Stay protected and make the most of your hiking experience!
Mosquito Shield of South Shore, Cape Cod & South Coast in Massachusetts uses a three-pronged approach to eliminate ticks and keep them away. Visit their website or call them at (781) 424-5697 to find out more.