4 Simple Ways To Avoid Tick Bites On Hikes

Lyme disease, with close to 30,000 confirmed cases each year, remains the most common tick-borne illness in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the total may actually be as high as 300,000 infected individuals per year, when unconfirmed cases are factored in.

While there are some species of ticks that don’t carry disease, without specialized knowledge it’s almost impossible to tell them apart from those that do. As a result, the best advice is to protect yourself, your family and your pets against all tick bites.

Here are four easy steps you can take to continue enjoying hiking and protect yourself from tick bites.

1)When in grassy or brushy areas, wear long sleeves, long pants and close-toed shoes. Tuck pants into socks. Light-colored clothing makes spotting ticks easier.

2) Insect repellents that contain 20 percent DEET may be helpful. Some experts say picaridin is even better. Reapply according to manufacturer instructions.

3) Treat clothing, boots and tents with products containing 0.5 percent permethrin, which stays effective through several washings. Pre-treated clothing and gear is also available and may offer longer protection.

4) After spending time outdoors, be sure to do a tick check. Visually scan all areas of your body, including your scalp and hair.