Outdoor summer activities are half the fun of the season, but they also come with some risk of ticks and mosquitoes. Don’t worry, with our tips you can still enjoy your hiking, biking, outdoor weather while protecting yourself, your children and even your pets. Here are our top ways you can prevent ticks and mosquitoes in your favorite outdoor activities.
Since blacklegged ticks – aka deer ticks – are frequently located in wooded areas (and can transmit Lyme), it’s important to take precaution when going hiking or biking in these spots. Firstly, stick to trails rather than venture into thicker areas. Wearing long shirts and pants whenever you can is your best bet (with your shirt tucked in), and light-colored clothing will help you notice any stragglers that attach themselves to you. And before you step onto the trail, spray your clothes/shoes/backpacks with a repellent/insecticide. As soon as you get home, wash your clothing and throw them in a hot dryer for an hour. Showering within two hours of leaving the trail will help to wash off any ticks that have not yet latched onto your skin.
The good news is that these measures can also protect you against mosquitoes. Light colored clothing makes it harder for mosquitoes to spot you – since they’re attracted to black and bright colors.
Protecting Young Kids & Babies
The same rules apply for babies and children when it comes to tick and mosquito prevention. Covering up when spending time in wooded areas is a must, which means long sleeves and pants that are tucked in. The best prevention is to do a quick spray on your children’s clothing (which is more effective than spraying their skin) before they play outside or spend time near any woods. In addition, any exposed skin – with the exception of the hands and face – should be sprayed with DEET as a precaution.
Even if you’re staying close to home, backyards can also pose a risk. Make sure you clear any brush or debris from your yard to prevent ticks, and limiting children’s time outdoors after dusk can help protect them against mosquitoes.
One of the easiest ways that ticks make it into your home? By latching on to your pet. Luckily there are pet insect repellents and collars carefully formulated to be effective on dogs as well. Start spraying at the tail, working your way forwards while fluffing the fur as you go (just make sure to stay away from face, eyes and genitals).
When you’re out hiking with your dog, make sure that you don’t let them wander into brush or other dense areas that could have a tick presence. And always check your pet like you do with the rest of your family before you step into your car or house to make sure no stragglers latched on during the day.
For a foolproof way to protect your family in the backyard, a professional-grade spray is the most surefire way to go. This will kill any ticks/mosquitoes in the immediate area, and prevent future risk. Give us a call at Mosquito Shield to discuss the option that’s best for you and your family.