It’s true: Wearing tick repellent clothing, tucking long pants into socks, wearing long sleeves, using insect repellent, and staying to the center of paths, are the most effective ways for people to prevent tick bites when they venture outdoors.
When tested, the highest performing products contained one of these three active ingredients: 15%-30% DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or 10-20% picaridin. All three ingredients are safe for adults, including 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 (OLE) on children under 3 years old.
Learn more about types of repellent and treatments for clothing on the Pick a Protection page.
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.