Summer is here and with it comes an increase in ticks. In fact, experts with Public Health Madison and Dane County say that “the number of ticks in the county has increased “significantly”, in the past few years.”
Before you head out the door on your next hiking, camping, or fishing excursion, make sure you’re doing enough to protect yourself and your family members from tick and mosquito bites.
First, always bring some kind of bug spray with you. Do your research before settling on a particular product. A recent study by Consumer Reports found that some of the best repellents on the market last up to seven hours and can withstand attacks from Aedes and Culex mosquitoes, as well as deer ticks (one of the most common pests here in Wisconsin) while others don’t even work for five minutes.
Second, wear appropriate clothing. While you might be tempted to wear shorts, tank tops and other garments that expose large amounts of skin, if you’ll be spending time in the shade, around water, or hiking through tall grass and brushes it’s best to wear jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt. Doing so is a surefire way to protect yourself from ticks.
Finally, after you’re finished with your activities for the day, carefully check yourself for the presence of tick or mosquito bites. Ticks like to hide in areas that are dark and damp, preferably behind the ears, under the armpits and even behind the knees. The quicker you can remove a tick, the less likely you are to become infected.