After a trip to Greer’s Ferry Lake this weekend, we decided a post about ticks was in order. Wandering in the woods in Memphis, Arkansas and Mississippi will surely leave one with a tick or three. It’s just a part of life in the Mid-South.
The desire to keep ticks at bay feels especially urgent this year. There’s the news that the number of insect-borne diseases in the United States has tripled since 2014. If you’ve been in the woods and are worried about a tick bite, begin by examining your ankles. “Ticks start low and crawl up,” says Dr. Thomas N. Mather, director of the University of Rhode Island’s Center for Vector-Borne Disease and its Tick Encounter Resource Center. “So if they get to the top of your head, it’s not that they fell out of a tree. Instead, they’ve made their way all the way up across your body.”
The essential tick exam begins around your feet, then scour all crevasses of your body — armpits, wrists, knees, and yes, groin — but the best way to handle with a tick bite is to stop it from happening in the first place. And fortunately, there are some solid, science-backed ways to prevent the pests from latching on. To find out which tick repellents actually work and which ones are duds, we went to the U.S Center for Disease Control’s site.
Best Tick Repellent for Humans
Though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends DEET as an effective tick repellent some prefers permethrin, the same chemical used in delousing shampoos like Nix. (That said, DEET can be a godsend for mosquitoes, and if you’re looking for more ways to deal with flying summertime pests, check out this blog post from we did last year. Using a chemical to deal with bugs can sound intimidating, but permethrin is one of the most widely used agricultural chemicals, and everyone is likely exposed to permethrin to some degree.