Preventing Ticks on People & Pets
Experts predict that natural areas and parks like the Arboretum may host larger than usual tick populations this year. This problem stems from a variety of environmental factors, which have been compounded by a mild winter. Here are some tips to protect yourself:
- Avoid wooded and bushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
- Walk in the center of paths.
- Wear long pants, long socks, and close-toed shoes if you plan on going off the road or paths.
- Consider pretreating clothing and shoes with an insect repellant containing Permethrin and/or using an insect repellant on your skin containing DEET.
- When you get home, conduct a full-body tick check on yourself, children, and pets. If a tick is discovered, collect the tick for potential testing (to determine if the tick is a carrier of the organism that causes Lyme disease), and consult your doctor immediately.
Dogs are very susceptible to tick bites and tickborne diseases. Keep your dog on a leash.
Learn more about ticks from the University of Rhode Island TickEncounter Resource Center.
Read about the science behind the increased tick population.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has guidelines for preventing tick bites.