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Ah, the great outdoors. Summer months in the Midwest provide ample opportunities to hit the trails, camp out under the stars and garden to your heart’s desire. The woods are plentiful. The days are long. But your favorite places could be overrun with ticks. The fright of finding one attached to your arm is bad enough. To make matters worse, the creatures are known to carry diseases. Before you head outside, check out these tips and tricks for avoiding ticks.

1. Don’t Forget the DEET

For as much as ticks love attaching themselves to you, they detest DEET. Many insect repellents contain the substance, and it’s important to find a product with 20 percent DEET or more to best protect yourself. Be careful, though — not all repellents are safe for children, and it’s important to follow the instructions to avoid harm.

2. Do Regular Checks

Ticks are excellent at hiding out on your skin and clothing, but if you check for them on a regular basis, you can catch them before they begin to take up residence. After you check for ticks, it’s best to shower and check your clothes, making sure you aren’t going to transfer the critters into your home.

3. Stay in the Sun

If you love fun in the sun, you’re in luck. Ticks typically dry out in the sun and steer clear of those areas. Avoid any areas of moisture, with tall grass, or in the shade, as that might be more attractive to pests.

4. Keep Your Feet on the Trail

If you’re the exploratory type, wondering off the beaten path may be in your regular routine. But as much as you’d like to feed your sense of adventure, staying on the trails can keep you away from ticks. Wearing light clothing also helps you see ticks as soon as they attach themselves.

5. Take Care of Your Yard

Remember that pile of leaves you decided to keep around? What about those shrubs in the corner of your backyard? They’re attractive to ticks. It’s critical to take care of your yard and eliminate any areas of concern.

6. Roll Out the Mower

Along with yard maintenance, regularly bring out the lawn mower and trim your grass. Tall grass attracts ticks, and keeping it short will make it more difficult to keep them around.

7. Check your Pets

Not only can you and your family drag ticks inside your home, your pets can, too! Check them on a regular basis to be sure they’re not carrying them around.

8. Cover Up

You might enjoy basking in the warm summer heat, but perhaps it’s best to cover up when you’re out on the hiking trails or roaming the woods. Deter ticks by covering up and preventing them from attaching themselves to your skin in the first place.

9. Use the Dryer

When you return from the great outdoors, give your clothes a run in the dryer. Many ticks can survive a cycle in the wash, but the heat from your dryer will eliminate them.

10. Construct a Fence

Even if you’ve taken all proper precautions to keep the ticks away, a few animal friends could destroy your efforts. Try building a fence around your yard to keep animals away that might be carrying ticks. If you’ve noticed a few extra critters in and around your home, Plunkett’s Pest Control can help. We’ve been in the business for over 100 years, and our trained and experienced technicians have your best interests in mind. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a service!

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