Wearing tick repellent clothing, tucking long pants into socks, having long sleeves, using insect repellent, and staying to the center of paths, is the best way for people to prevent tick bites when they venture outdoors.
The best way to protect yourself and your family from ticks is to:
- Prevent them from being on your body,
- Inspect yourself, your children, and pets for ticks after being outside, and
- Remove any tick you find.
The top-performing products in tests contained one of these three active ingredients: 30% DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or 20% picaridin. And all are safe, even for pregnant women, when used as directed. Avoid repellents with more than 30% DEET. Do not use insect repellents at all on babies younger than 2 months. Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus orpara-menthane-diol on children under 3 years old.
For detailed information about tick prevention and control, see the Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Avoiding Ticks. Children aged 2 to 13 are particularly at risk.
An estimated three quarters of all Lyme disease cases are acquired from ticks picked up during activities around the home. Detailed information for outdoor workers can be found via the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) at NIOSH Safety and Health Topic: Tick-Borne Diseases.