As the weather warms up, spending time outdoors becomes nearly irresistible. However, it’s also the season when ticks are most active, posing risks to humans and pets alike. Fortunately, there are several effective ways to prevent tick bites and the diseases they can carry. Here is the best practical advice on how to protect yourself, your family, and your pets from these pesky invaders throughout the season.

Woman hiking in a forest, looking up, with a tick warning sign visible in the corner.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.
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Use a Product With 20% DEET or Higher

A person applying insect repellent spray on their leg in a grassy area to prevent insect bites.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Products containing DEET are highly effective at repelling ticks. Apply a repellent with at least 20% DEET on exposed skin avoiding the face and mouth for robust protection against ticks. This chemical compound masks the scents that attract ticks, reducing the likelihood they’ll latch on.

Apply Permethrin to Clothing

Two hikers with backpacks walking on a forest trail, surrounded by lush green trees.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Permethrin-treated clothing drastically reduces tick attachments. Treat clothes, especially pants, socks, and shoes, to kill ticks on contact. This method offers an added layer of defense by neutralizing ticks before they can reach your skin. It’s important to never use permethrin on the skin.

Wear Light-Colored Clothes

A woman in hiking gear walks on a mountain trail, carrying a backpack and trekking poles, with lush greenery and mountain peaks in the background.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Light-colored fabrics make it easier to spot ticks on your clothing. By wearing light shades, you can quickly detect and remove ticks before they find their way to your skin. This visual check aid is probably the simplest thing you can do to protect yourself.

Wear Long Pants

A person adjusting their gray sock while wearing a brown hiking boot outdoors.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Long pants tucked into socks reduce the amount of exposed skin, minimizing tick bites. This barrier method is effective in grassy and wooded areas where ticks are prevalent.

Wear Long Sleeves

A man and a woman hiking in autumn scenery, using trekking poles and smiling, surrounded by colorful foliage and rocky terrain, aware of how to avoid ticks.
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Similarly, long sleeves help cover the arms completely, which can prevent ticks from accessing your skin. This is especially crucial in environments where ticks are commonly found on higher vegetation. Make sure to tuck the shirt into your pants to help seal off their ability to get on your skin.

Stay on the Trail When Hiking

Woman hiking on a rocky forest trail, wearing a blue backpack and a blue jacket, with lush green trees around.
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Sticking to the center of trails when hiking keeps you away from the bushy, high grass areas or wooded, leafy spots where ticks are most commonly found.

Do a Tick Check After Being Outdoors

A close-up of a woman's hand pointing to a tick on another person's head amidst strands of hair.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

After spending time in a tick-prone area, conduct a full-body tick check. Pay special attention to under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, around the waist, and especially in your hair.

Don’t Forget About Pets

A man and woman adjust a harness on a white dog during a hike in a wooded area, taking precautions on how to avoid ticks.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Protect pets with tick treatments and check them before they re-enter your home to avoid bringing ticks inside. Pets can carry ticks that can then transfer to humans, so keeping your furry friends clean is also protecting yourself.

Put Clothes in the Dryer on High Heat

A woman reaching into a washing machine filled with clothes, viewed from inside the drum.
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After being outdoors, throwing your clothes in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes can kill any ticks hiding in your garments. This practice helps eliminate ticks that you might have missed during a visual check.

Create a Tick-Free Zone Around Your House

Two-story beige house with a double garage and a driveway, surrounded by lush greenery and a well-maintained lawn, under a clear sky.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Managing the landscape around your home by clearing tall grasses, brush, and leaves can create a tick-free zone. Use wood chips or gravel to separate your lawn from wooded areas to inhibit tick migration into the space you use most.

Shower As Soon as Possible

A person washing their hands under running water from a stainless steel faucet.
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Showering within two hours of coming indoors can wash away unattached ticks and provides a good opportunity to perform a tick check more thoroughly.

Avoid Tick-Infested Places

A "ticks warning" sign featuring a tick icon, mounted on a tree trunk in a densely wooded area.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Avoiding known tick-infested locations during peak seasons can significantly reduce your risk of bites. When you can’t avoid these areas, preparation and protection with repellents, as well as appropriate clothing, are your best defenses.

12 Of The Worst Foods To Bring To The Beach This Summer

A family enjoying a picnic on a sunny beach, with a man, woman, and child eating sandwiches and fruits on a pink blanket.
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Heading to the beach is a perfect way to spend a summer day, but the wrong food choices can put a damper on your sandy escapades. Some snacks simply aren’t meant for the beach, where the sun melts, the sand sticks, and the seagulls swoop. From melted chocolate to sandy sandwiches, choosing the wrong beach eats can lead to more hassle than relaxation. Here’s a guide to some foods that are better of staying home.

See Them Here: 12 Of The Worst Foods To Bring To The Beach This Summer

6 Vegetables Perfect For Raised Bed Gardens And 3 To Avoid

A raised garden bed filled with a variety of plants, including tomatoes, leeks, and leafy greens.
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Jumping into raised bed gardening opens up a whole new world of growing potential, from boosting your soil’s nutrient profile to getting more green in less ground. The beauty of raised beds isn’t just in their efficient drainage or how they keep your soil from getting squashed underfoot; it’s also about making every square inch count. With space at a premium for most of us, picking the right veggies for these elevated patches is key.

This list will guide you through choosing the best plants for your raised beds, ensuring your garden thrives. While not every veggie is cut out for life above ground level, there are some that truly shine in compact spaces.

See Them Here: 6 Vegetables Perfect For Raised Bed Gardens And 3 To Avoid

Select images provided by Depositphotos.

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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