It’s that dreaded time of year again. No, I’m not talking about how the weather can’t make up its mind or possible flooding. I’m talking about tick season. Those creepy, skin crawly, little arachnids are out and they are hungry. So, what can you do to keep those little vampires from filling up on your blood?

  1. Try to avoided wooded and brushy areas, but if you must venture into these parts, keep to the center of the trail. Areas with tall grass and leaf litter are also hot beds for ticks.
  2. Use a repellent that contains at least 20 percent DEET on any exposed skin. The repellent will keep you protected for several hours while enjoying your outdoor activities.
  3. Treat your clothing, gear, boots, pants, socks, etc… with products that contain permethrin. It keeps your clothing protected through many washes, so you don’t have to reapply every time you venture out.
  4. Examine yourself, your kids, your gear and your pets as soon as you get home. It is best to shower within two hours as it is easier to find and wash off ticks that are on you sooner rather than later.

I hope these tips (from the CDC) keep you tick free while you’re enjoying our beautiful Missoula spring.

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of The University of Montana, animal lover and writer.

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