This is the time of year when many of us begin spending more time outside. While it’s always fun to get out and enjoy the weather, your summer fun could be interrupted by an unwanted visitor. Ticks manage to find their way onto many people each year and spread things like Lyme disease, tick fever, virus infections and more. Prevention truly is the best course of action when it comes to ticks so before you go outside, follow these prevention tips.

Know the Danger Areas

Some areas pose a higher risk for tick bites than others. Areas with tall grass, bushes, and heavily wooded areas are the most common spot to find ticks. You can even get ticks in your own back yard but keeping the grass short will help decrease the risk. If you know you’ll be spending time in an area that likely contains ticks, you’ll need to follow the other prevention tips even more closely!

Checking for Ticks

After you’ve been outdoors, you need to check for ticks. Begin by removing your clothing and looking each piece over for any ticks. If you find a tick on your clothing, immediately wash the item in hot water and dry it for a minimum of 10 minutes on high heat to kill the tick. Once you’ve removed your clothing, stand in front of a mirror and inspect your body for ticks. Don’t forget to look in any crevices and creases you have in your skin – ticks can hide better than you think! Parents should inspect their children head to toe for ticks each time they’re outside.

Take Away the Livable Space

An easy way to prevent ticks in your own yard is to take away their livable space. In addition to keeping the grass cut short, you can choose to treat your yard with a tick-prevention spray. Clean up any leaves and other debris laying around your yard that ticks can hide in. Ticks will live on your animals too. To prevent this, you can treat your pets with a tick prevention medication once a month and check them for ticks daily.

If you discover you’ve been bitten by a tick, don’t panic. Remove the tick from your skin using tweezers. In the days following a tick bite, keep an eye out for any signs of rash or illness. If you notice a rash or fever after being bit by a tick, seek medical attention right away.