Plants with small white flowers found during CSAM field work.
Biology News

How do you prevent tick bites?

Matthew Aardema spoke with Nicole Pajer from HuffPost in their guide to ticks

Posted in: In the Media

Dr. Matthew Aardema by lab equipment

There are a few methods you should practice to prevent ticks from biting you. First, Dr. Aardema suggested wearing pants and socks that cover the ankles and lower legs when hiking outside.

“When practical, pant legs can be tucked into the socks to prevent ticks gaining access to the skin,” he explained. “However, this may mean that ticks will try crawling higher up the body.”

Opt for lighter-colored clothing, which makes it easier to see ticks before they start biting. And don’t forget your insect repellent.

“Apply a bug spray with at least 25% DEET to your clothing, especially the shoes and pant legs,” said Aardema, who noted that non-DEET products have not been shown to be effective at preventing tick bites.

“A tick searching for a place to bite is much easier to remove than a tick that has already started feeding, so check for ticks frequently during hikes or whenever spending an extended amount of time outdoors,” Aardema added.

And after spending any time outside in tick-prone areas, you should thoroughly check for ticks on your body. Aardema said to do this even in the winter, if temperatures are above freezing.

Read the full piece What You Need To Know About Ticks, From Preventing Them To Treating Bites on the HuffPost website