Deer ticks like moist and humid conditions and shade. While it is a good idea to take preventive measures against ticks year-round, be extra vigilant between April and August, when ticks, often the size of a poppy seed, are most active. Even if you do not recall being bitten by a tick, call a doctor if you experience an unexpected summer fever or odd rash after being in a tick-infested area.
►Avoid shady areas within five feet of tall grass, heavy leaf litter, and brushy vegetation.
►Walk in the center of trails.
► Use permethrin tick repellent on shoes, clothing, and gear. Its protection lasts through several washings. Applying repellents containing DEET on skin can provide added protection.
►Throw clothes into a hot dryer for 10 minutes after being in tick habitat, before washing. Washing clothes first does not kill ticks.
►Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors to more easily find ticks that are crawling on or attached to you.
► Conduct a full-body tick check using a hand-held or full-length mirror. Parents should check their children’s hair, under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, and around the waist.
► Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing, gear, and pets, then attach to a person later.
►Ensure you are using products on your pet that can quickly kill ticks.
►Remember that ticks can be active on warm winter days.