Tick Notes

It's the ticks you don't see that are the dangerous ones!

Tiny ticks the size of poppy seeds that are loaded with germs…germs that cause diseases like Lyme, babesiosis, anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis. YIKES! Now's when you really need to Get TickSmart.

Nymphal stage blacklegged ticks and Lone Star ticks generally are hanging out in leaf litter on the ground, and from there they latch on to shoes and socks as they pass by. Then, these tiny parasites start crawling up; up legs, under pants or shorts, and frequently end up attaching somewhere below the belt. Lone Star nymphs may make it a little further north, by crawling up under untucked shirts.

Since these ticks are just hard to see, preventing them from latching on in the first place is really the best way to prevent a potentially dangerous bite. And the best way to stop these miniscule ticks in their tracks is by wearing permethrin-treated shoes and socks, and pants or shorts. TickEncounter recommends treating shoes with a 0.5% permethrin spray (Sawyer Products), and to treat all likely shoes that family members may wear when outside in tick habitat. Consider it your first-line defense against ticks and tickborne disease, especially in May, June, July and August when NYMPH TICKS are active.

It's best to spray shoes until wetted, allow them to dry before wearing, and treat them at least once per month. Why not do all of the household shoes at the same time—at the end of the day or early before people wake up?

Add to this protection by wearing treated socks and pants (or shorts). Commercially-treated clothing is still effective even after 70 laundry cycles but to be extra cautious, you can purchase pre-treated clothes or have your own clothes treated once a year by Insect Shield, either before tick season or even NOW -- before camp and vacation.

Here's our tip: Take the tick repellent off the shelf and start protecting yourself TODAY. Everyone can do this, and it really does work!