You can enjoy the return of warm weather and outdoor activities by preventing tick bites that can cause Lyme disease and other infections like anaplasmosis.
Before your outdoor activity, you can take the following precautions to prevent tick bites:
- Wear light coloured long-sleeved shirts and pants to spot ticks more easily;
- Tuck your shirt into your pants, and pull your socks over your pant legs;
- Use bug spray containing DEET or Icaridin on your skin and clothing (always follow the directions on the label);
- Walk on cleared paths or walkways.
When you return, take time to specifically inspect these 10 areas of your body (favorite tick hiding spots):
- head and hair
- in and around the ears
- under the arms
- around the chest
- back (use a mirror or ask for help)
- belly button
- around the groin
- legs and behind the knees
- between the toes
What to look for: You may not notice a tick bite because ticks are tiny and their bites are usually painless. Feel your skin for bumps and see if there are any tiny black dots. Most people get Lyme disease after being bitten by:
- a nymph, which is about the size of a poppy seed (1.15 mm)
- an adult female tick, which is about the size of a sesame seed (3 mm)
Found a tick? Remove it immediately to reduce the risk of infection. To do this properly, watch the Lyme disease video: How to properly remove a tick.
Don’t forget to also check your pets!