(StatePoint) Summer is here, and nature beckons. The benefits of spending time outside – from an increase in vitamin D levels to the healing powers of nature – are common knowledge, and outdoor activities are widely encouraged by various health organizations. But while you’re out and about enjoying fresh air, don’t forget to take precautions against the possibility of being bitten by a tick.
Ticks are tiny arthropods that live by feeding on the blood of other animals and people. They often transmit a variety of complicated infections that, if untreated, can lead to dire consequences. But you don’t have to let these tiny creatures get in the way of your enjoyment of nature. Just make sure to follow few simple rules before and after your outing:
•Treat clothing and gear with products containing permethrin, and your body with EPA-registered insect repellent.
•Cover up if you will be spending time in bushy or wooded areas or wandering through fields of tall grass. Wear long sleeves and tuck your long pants into your socks — while this look would be frowned upon by the fashion-conscious, it may, literally, save your life!
•Once home, check your clothes and body for ticks, and don’t forget some of the not-so-obvious places, like your scalp, belly button and underarms.