To prevent a tick bite, tread in the middle of trails, stay away from wooded areas with tall grasses and dead leaves on the ground, and use repellents containing 20 to 30 percent permethrin or N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide, also called DEET, recommends the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Use tick repellents with 0.5 percent permethrin to treat clothes and protective gear, including tents, socks, pants and boots. Alternatively, buy pretreated clothing for longer protection.
Avoid applying tick repellents on the mouth, eyes and hands, and be careful when applying the products to children, notes the CDC. Read product labels carefully. Be extra cautious in avoiding ticks during warmer months.
After coming home, take a bath within two hours to find and get rid of any ticks crawling on the skin or clothes, advises the CDC. Use a handheld or full-body mirror to check the entire body for ticks. When checking children for ticks, examine their hair, waist, between the legs, the backs of the knees, inside the belly buttons, in and around the ears, and beneath the arms.
Inspect pets, clothing and gear, as ticks sometimes stick to them and transfer to people later, states the CDC. Put clothes in a dryer, adjust the settings to high heat, and let the clothes tumble for an hour to eliminate remaining ticks.