SAN ANTONIO – Warm weather in the great outdoors is perfect for camping, hiking and unfortunately, ticks.
“Ticks can be found from coast to coast, and the number of tick-borne diseases such as Lyme and Rocky Mountain spotted fever have been on the rise in recent years,” said Catherine Roberts of Consumer Reports. “So, it’s really important to take proper precautions.”
Texas is not as populated with ticks as the northeastern states, but they still are present and still spread disease. Black-legged deer ticks, lone star ticks, American dog ticks and brown dog ticks are the most common in Texas.
Ticks are most commonly found in wooded, grassy or brushy areas. If outdoors in risky areas, Roberts said you can protect yourself by wearing long pants tucked inside your socks.
Insect repellent should be applied to exposed skin as well as the outside of clothing.
Consumer Reports found that repellents containing 15% to 30% DEET work best. They also recommend some with 30% oil of lemon eucalyptus or 20% picaridin.
Two repellents they recommend as best buys are Total Home Woodland Scent Insect Repellent and 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent.
“Showering can wash away any ticks that may be on your skin but not yet attached,” Roberts said.
If you are bitten by a tick, she said to carefully remove it with tweezers. The sooner it’s removed, the less chance it has to transmit disease.
Because many ticks attach themselves to dogs, it’s important to protect pets, too.