Feature Archive

How to Defend Yourself

How to Defend Yourself

WebMD Feature

June 19, 2000 -- Each summer, new cases of tick-borne illnesses like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, and ehrlichiosis surge in the United States. Hot zones for tick trouble include the Northeastern and Southeastern states, as well as parts of the Midwest, Texas, and California. Almost anywhere ticks lurk, however, you could find yourself in trouble. Luckily, a few simple tips from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can help you and your family avoid tick trouble this summer and still enjoy the great outdoors.

  • If you live in a wooded area, remove leaves and clear brush and tall grass from around the house and the edges of the garden where immature ticks often reside.

  • When you're hiking or camping in wooded areas, wear light-colored clothing so that you can spot any ticks that jump on board.

  • Wear long pants and tuck the legs into socks or boots. Some experts recommend putting tape around the area where pants and socks meet for added protection.

  • Consider spraying insect repellent containing DEET on clothes.

  • Stick to the middle of hiking trails to avoid brushing against leaves or grasses where ticks lie in wait.