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Here's How to Keep Ticks Off of You

I hate ticks. And I doubt I’m in the minority. In my area, ticks are everywhere, from the little deer ticks to the annoying lone star ticks to the large blacklegged ticks that end up attaching themselves to livestock. Ticks carry diseases, cause skin irritations, and are — simply put — a pain to have around. So finding options for some of the best tick prevention methods is important.

The swath of America where tick species thrive is so large it’s fair to remind everyone with animals and the potential for outdoors activities. Warmer, wetter weather throughout the country is the time of year to be particularly concerned.

The CDC’s list of potential tick-borne diseases and symptoms reads like a mini horror story. Most people are familiar with Colorado tick fever and Lyme disease, but other lesser known illnesses among the dozen-plus include Heartland virus and Ehrlichiosis. Cropping up more commonly these days is the alpha-gal allergy, which prevents those afflicted from eating any kind of mammal meat, as well as often limiting consumption of dairy products like milk and cheese.

I already have alpha gal, so I've dug deep on what it means to keep ticks away moving forward:


Sawyer Permethrin Insect Repellent

Overview

This is a great go-to spray, and it’s often used by many folks in the outdoor industry. Sawyer bills this picaridin 20 percent spray as not just repelling insects, but actually killing mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, mites, and more than 55 other kinds of insects on contact. It’s odorless after drying, and a single application lasts up to six weeks of sun exposure or through six washings (whichever comes first).


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Keep exploring more ways to stay tick-free here.

LAST UPDATED

June 17, 2024

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Sawyer has an alternative [to DEET] made with Picaridin, which works just as well without spoiling your clothes.

James Wong
Freelance Writer

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Zinzi Edmundson, the founder of Treehouse newsletter, who gardens in Maine, suggests spraying your shoes, especially (she uses Sawyer’s permethrin).

Laura Fenton
Contributor

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I carry bottles of water, but I also have a Sawyer squeeze water filter. Also, if it’s cold, make sure you sleep with your water filter in your sleeping bag, so it doesn’t freeze.

Shilletha Curtis