Tick Prevention & Protection


Preventive measures to reduce tick contact should include avoiding or reducing time spent in tick habitats. Learn what ticks are in the user area so their habitat(s) can be avoided.
Know the time of year they are active to begin and cease preventive measures. Some ticks like heavily wooded sites while others prefer grassy areas and some frequent the space between woods and fields.
American dog ticks especially accumulate along paths and road edges. When ticks cannot be avoided, take proper precautions to protect yourself, children and companion animals by routinely using the following preventive methods:

   Treat all pets with topical spot-on products regularly (i.e. when pets live outdoors or are frequently taken afield) to discourage tick attachment and feeding. Pay special attention to label guidelines or animals may be harmed.

Clothing

   Light-colored clothing such as a long-sleeved shirt, trousers and socks should be worn to provide a physical barrier from ticks whenever activities venture outdoors, and especially in or near wooded or brushy-vegetated areas. Keep clothing buttoned, shirt-tail inside trousers and trouser legs tucked inside tops of socks.

   A ring of masking tape with the sticky side out placed around the tops of boots, shoes, or sock tops will often trap ticks that are ascending to look for an attachment site.

   Avoid wearing open-toed shoes, sandals, and flip-flops. Do not sit on the ground or on logs in brushy areas or woodlot edges. Try to remain within the center of trails when hiking; ticks often will ascend surrounding trail-side vegetation to await contact with a host as they brush past.

Repellents

   Permanone┬«, a tick repellent containing permethrin, may be applied to clothing only (avoid skin contact). This product may provide protection for a day or longer. Repellents containing DEET (>30%) will protect exposed skin but will not stop ticks from crawling under clothing to reach untreated portions of the body.

   Applying repellents to the entire body might prevent tick bites for awhile, but such extensive treatments often are impractical and may be hazardous to health. Always read and follow the pesticide label instructions provided.

Children

swingset

   Active children old enough to play outdoors are prime candidates for tick bites. It is best to keep children indoors or in a tick free environment such as an enclosed playground if the area is known to be infested with ticks. Teach children to avoid tall grass and low brush areas, to check each other for "small moving spots" and remove ticks only with tweezers, tick removal tools or fingers protected by a tissue or sanitary "baby" wipes. Examine children closely after they have been in infested areas.

Dogs & Cats

   Pets often frequent tick habitats and bring the parasites into contact with people. Dogs are probably more likely to have attached ticks than their owners due to their activity and time spent in outdoor environments.

dog and cat on bed
    While cats are generally less likely to be attacked by ticks than dogs, these animals should be inspected periodically, and after each outing to suspected tick-infested areas.    Ticks can be removed from pets as previously described and with the same precautions. Avoid sleeping with pets likely to have ticks.     Infested premises shared by dogs, cats, and humans require attention to control ticks on animals and indoor and outdoor spaces.  It may be necessary to treat indoor spaces, infested yards, and structures with an approved acaricide, or to obtain the services of your local pest control professional.

Remember to follow all pesticide label instructions for safe handling and use in premise and on-animal treatments.

     Special attention should be paid to pet resting areas and bedding materials. Remember to remove and clean bedding, bag materials in black plastic (solar treatment), or destroy bedding materials from kennels, doghouses or other places of pet residence. Heavy or persistent infestations of pets may require the advice of your local veterinarian. Animal testing for tick-borne diseases by your veterinarian and early treatment can save infected animals.

Trail Riding Equines

   Horses, mules, and donkeys (equines) used for pleasure and/or trail riding recreational activities (especially those animals pastured in or near woodlot areas) should be gathered and inspected for ticks during daily feeding and grooming or exercise sessions. This precaution is especially important following trail riding excursions onto unmanaged private, state, and federal recreational lands because most ticks are ambush feeders, and as such, are more frequently encountered along riding and hiking trails that are bordered by vegetation. While all equine body regions are susceptible to tick bites, inspections should focus primarily on the mane, tail-head, and ears, and progress from these areas to the axillaries, inner leg surfaces, and genital areas. Animals can be pre/post-treated using an approved over the counter synthetic pyrethroid spray or wipe-on which will provide the added protection from biting flies.