Anyone who enjoys deep woods camping and hiking should do their best to avoid the deer tick (also called blacklegged tick), which carries Lyme disease. Here are some preventative tips:
- Be mindful of tick season. Deer ticks are most active from April to September. Take care when venturing into tick country.
- Use repellent when in a tick area. Use –a kind that can be applied to your clothing as well.
- Wear appropriate clothing. Tuck your pants cuffs into boots or socks and wear long-sleeved, light-coloured clothing that makes it easier to spot ticks.
- Be aware of your environment. Stay to the centre of hiking paths, and avoid grassy, marshy woodlands.
- Inspect yourself and your children for clinging ticks after leaving an infested area. Deer ticks are hard to see – nymphs are dot-sized; adults are smaller than a sesame seed. Feeding ticks will grow in size. If you find one, don't panic. Gently remove it from the skin with a pair of tweezers. Infected ticks must feed for at least 48 hours before passing on the disease.
Written and reviewed by the MediResource Clinical Team