After you come indoors, check your body and clothing for ticks. Ticks can hitch a ride inside on clothing, people, and pets. Any ticks that are found should be removed as soon as possible.
Check your body for ticks after being outdoors. Conduct a full body check upon returning from areas that are potentially infested with ticks, which even includes your backyard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body.
Check these parts of your body and your child’s body for ticks:
- Under the arms
- In and around the ears
- Inside belly button
- Back of the knees
- In and around the hair
- Between the legs
- Around the waist
If you find and remove an attached tick – watch for signs of illness such as rash or fever in the days and weeks following the bite. See a health care provider if these develop. Your risk of acquiring a tickborne illness depends on several factors, including where you live, what type of tick bit you, and how long the tick was attached. If you become ill after a tick bite, see a health care provider.
Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill any ticks that may be on dry clothing when you come indoors. If the clothes are damp, additional time may be needed. If the clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended. Cold and medium temperature water will not kill ticks effectively.
Shower soon after being outdoors. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease. Showering may help wash off unattached ticks and it is a good opportunity to do a tick check.
Check pets for ticks! Pets that are protected from ticks can still carry them into your home where they can attach themselves to you.