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Heading outdoors? Remember to protect yourself from ticks!

The best way to protect yourself from Lyme disease is to prevent tick bites. Prevention and reduction of tick habitats near your home will help reduce the risk of contracting this disease.

Here are some ways to protect yourself if you venture into wooded or forested areas located within risk areas for Lyme disease:

  • Wear light coloured long-sleeved shirts and pants to spot ticks more easily.
  • Tuck your shirt into your pants, and pull your socks over your pant legs.
  • Use bug spray containing DEET or Icaridin on your skin and clothing (always follow the directions on the label).
  • Walk on cleared paths or walkways.
  • Do a daily full-body check for ticks on yourself and your children, especially in the hair, under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs and around the waist.
  • If you find an attached tick, remove it with tweezers immediately. Removing it within 24-36 hours can help prevent infection (watch the How to properly remove a tick video for more details).

To reduce tick habitats near your home:

  • Mow the lawn regularly to keep the grass short.
  • Remove leaf litter, brush and weeds at the edge of the lawn and around stonewalls and woodpiles.
  • Treat pets that are commonly exposed to ticks with oral or topic acaricides (as recommended by your veterinarian) as they could carry ticks into the home.

You may also watch the Enjoy the outdoors, without a tick video.

For more information and advice, visit Prevention of Lyme disease.

© Source: Public Health Agency of Canada