Mayo Clinic Minute: Ways to avoid ticks

While you're enjoying a hike, ticks are looking for a ride.

"They get themselves in a position. And they will climb up the nearest object, like this blade of grass here." It's called questing. "It sticks out its legs, and that allows it to grab on to hosts as they walk by." You can lessen the chances you'll become a host. "Using insect repellents is a good idea."

Mayo Clinic parasitic diseases expert Dr. Bobbi Pritt suggests permethrin for your clothing and gear.

"You can really saturate your gear. Leave them out to dry, and, then, the next day, wear them."

Use permethrin on materials and DEET on skin. Spray the DEET repellent on exposed skin, including your legs and hands. Avoid your face, but be sure to protect your neck. Then, tuck your pants into your socks. And, on your hike, remember to avoid areas where those questing ticks may be perched.

"That's why you want to stay away from the tall grasses. Stay in the middle."

For the Mayo Clinic News Network, I'm Jeff Olsen.

Last Updated Jul 13, 2019

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