I spent Fourth Of July Weekend at the lake, where I discovered a couple of deer ticks climbing on me.  When I returned home, I mowed the lawn and there were a couple more I had to flick off. I hadn't had a problem with them yet this year, but now they seem to be finding me.  If you find yourself in the same situation, you'll appreciate these deer tick bite prevention tips.

According to the Minnesota DNR, follow these steps to help prevent deer tick bites:

  • Check and re-check for ticks when you are in tick-infested areas.
  • When in deer tick habitat, walk in the center of the trail to avoid picking up ticks from grass and brush.
  • Wear light colored clothing so ticks will be more visible.
  • Create a barrier to ticks by tucking pants into socks or boots and tuck long sleeved shirt into pants.
  • Use a repellent containing DEET or permethrin, and carefully follow the directions on the container.
  • After being outdoors in tick habitat, get out of your clothes immediately, do a complete body check, shower and vigorously towel dry. Wash your clothes immediately as to not spread any ticks around your living area.
  • Remember to also check your pets for ticks.

If a tick gets attached to you, removing it promptly reduces the chance you'll get a tick-borne disease.  Experts believe that deer ticks must remain attached one to two days to transmit Lyme disease, and about one day for the other diseases.

Use these tips to remove a tick:

  • Use tweezers to grasp the tick close to its mouth.
  • Gently and S-L-O-W-L-Y pull the tick straight outward.
  • To avoid contact with the bacteria, if present, do not squeeze the ticks' body.
  • Wash the area and apply an antiseptic to the bite.
  • Watch for early signs and symptoms of Lyme disease.

Enjoy the great outdoors, but remember those tick checks!