Gardening, camping, hiking . . . there are many great outdoor activities to enjoy in Montana, but don't forget about the ticks that may be sharing the same environment. When you're outside this spring and summer, prevent tick bites and reduce your risk of tick-borne diseases by following these tips.
- Wear light-colored clothing to allow you to see ticks that are crawling on your clothing.
- Tuck your pants legs into your socks so that ticks cannot crawl up the inside of your pants legs.
- Apply repellants to discourage tick attachment. Repellents containing permethrin can be sprayed on boots and clothing, and will last for several days. Repellents containing DEET can be applied to the skin, but will last only a few hours before reapplication is necessary. Use DEET with caution on children. Application of large amounts of DEET on children has been associated with adverse reactions.
- Conduct a body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas by searching your entire body for ticks.
- Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Remove any tick you find on your body.
- Parents should check their children for ticks, especially in the hair, when returning from potentially tick-infested areas.
- Additionally, ticks may be carried into the household on clothing and pets. Both should be examined carefully.