Posted by: missouriugr | June 13, 2007

Tick Safety in the Field

Attention UMEB Students (and others who work/play in the field)!

Dr. Nilon has provided some ideas on protecting yourself from ticks while out in the field. Please read the information below and talk to your faculty mentors, graduate mentors, and other team members about their thoughts. Remember you are supposed to be enjoying the outdoors—not the outdoors enjoying you!

Use These Simple Measures to Prevent Tick Bites.

Avoid Areas With a Lot of Ticks
Ticks prefer wooded and bushy areas with high grass and a lot of leaf litter. These are areas to avoid.
Take extra precautions in May, June, and July. This is when ticks that transmit Lyme disease are most active.
If you do enter a tick area, walk in the center of the trail to avoid contact with overgrown grass, brush, and leaf litter.
Ask your local health department and park or extension service about tick infested areas to avoid.

Keep Ticks off Your Skin
Use insect repellent with 20% – 50% DEET on adult skin and clothing to prevent tick bite. Effective repellents are found in drug, grocery and discount stores. For details about the proper use of repellents visit our West Nile Virus website.

Permethrin is another type of repellent. It can be purchased at outdoor equipment stores that carry camping or hunting gear. Permethrin kills ticks on contact! One application to pants, socks, and shoes typically stays effective through several washings. Permethrin should not be applied directly to skin. For details on permethrin visit the National Pesticide Information Center.

Wear long pants, long sleeves, and long socks to keep ticks off your skin. Light-colored clothing will help you spot ticks more easily. Tucking pant legs into socks or boots and tucking shirts into pants help keep ticks on the outside of clothing. If you’ll be outside for an extended period of time, tape the area where your pants and socks meet to prevent ticks from crawling under your clothes.
Check Your Skin and Clothes for Ticks Every Day!

  • Remove ticks from your clothes before going indoors. To kill ticks that you may have missed, wash your clothes with hot water and dry them using high heat for at least one hour.
  • Perform daily tick checks after being outdoors, even in your own yard. Inspect all parts of your body carefully including your armpits, scalp, and groin. Remove ticks immediately using fine-tipped tweezers.
  • If a tick is attached to your skin for less than 24 hours, your chance of getting Lyme disease is extremely small. But just to be safe, monitor your health closely after a tick bite and be alert for any signs and symptoms of tick-borne illness.

Tick Suit

Protective Clothing/Sprays

Bass Pro Shop- Permethrin 9 oz can for $5.95 (Talk to Rich in Camo-Clothing Department– he swears by it!)
Bass Pro Shop-3D Pattern Camo mesh suit $49.95
White Painters jumpsuit
Bug Out Outdoor Wear Mesh jumpsuit sold at


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