Deer ticks are most abundant in wooded areas, but they can also be found in residential areas near these woods. Avoidance of tick habitat is certainly the best way to prevent tick bites, but it also deprives many persons of participating in their favorite outdoor activities or even using their own backyards, because ticks are found in lawns, gardens, and on bushes adjacent to residential homes. There are, however, a number of measures you can take to greatly reduce the possibility of being bitten by a tick and continue to enjoy the outdoors.
While walking in the woods, stay on trails and avoid brushing up against low bushes or tall grass which are places where ticks wait for animals to pass by so they can attach to them for a blood meal. Remember that ticks do not hop, jump, fly or descend from trees you must come into contact with them. Wear protective clothing, such as light-colored, long-sleeve shirts and light-colored pants tucked into boots or socks. The light colored clothing allows you to more easily spot crawling ticks. Use an insect repellent preferably containing no more than 30% DEET (N-diethyl-metatoluamide) on bare skin and clothing. Alternatively, Duranon can be applied to CLOTHING ONLY but not to your skin. Follow label directions carefully for both products. All insect repellents should be used with caution-especially on children-and should not be applied to their hands or face.
Ticks and their primary hosts such as mice, chipmunks, voles, and other small mammals need moisture, a place away from direct sunlight, and a place to hide. The clearer you can keep the area around your house the less likely your chances of being bitten by a tick. Whereas it may not be possible to create a totally tick-free zone, taking the following precautions will greatly reduce the tick population in your backyard.