The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) recommendations for preventing tick bites include avoiding wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter. Walk in the center of trails. Persons hiking together should check each other while in tick habitats. They should use repellents that contain 20 to 30% DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) on exposed skin and clothing and wear clothing that has been treated with permethrin (C21H20Cl2O3). Gear should also be treated, such as boots, sleeping bags, and tents with products containing 0.5% permethrin. Permethrin remains protective through several washings. Clothing pre-treated with permethrin is available and may be protective longer.
It is recommended to wear light colored clothing, including a hat. A long sleeve shirt should be worn that is tucked into the pants. The pant legs should then be tucked into socks.
Remove rodents from cabins and dwellings and check for nests. Do not sleep on the floor and pull beds away from the walls.
Inspect for and remove ticks as soon as possible. Bathe or shower to wash off any unattached ticks. Conduct a full body tick check with a mirror. Examine children carefully, especially:
- Under the arms
- In and around the ears
- Inside the umbilicus
- Behind the knees
- Between their legs
- Around the waist
- In their hair
Don't forget to check pets and gear. Clothing and bedding can be tumble dried on high heat for at least an hour to kill ticks.