In NC -- don't bother. No one told the ticks here they were supposed to care. The best thing we can do is to do a careful check every day. Generally, ticks do not begin to feed until they have been on for 24 hours, so the likelihood of disease being transferred during this time is very low.
This is also why you do not want to burn, put chemicals on, or squeeze a tick during removal, you do not want them to get agitated and spit their bacteria back into your body.
Nasty little things, I work outside and more than a few of my co-workers have contracted Lyme and RMSF, so we are very proactive about parasite checks!
Checks are good, but the problem is you cannot see ticks in the nymph stage, and they can transmit disease. People recommend DEET; there's a natural spray that's been shown to work in studies, I'll see if I can remember its name. If you are going to be in tick habitat frequently you can buy clothes treated with permethrin (socks, pants, shirt). Finally, if you've been out in tick habitat taking a shower within 2 hours has been shown to cut Lyme transmission rates. You could also throw your clothes in the dryer for an hour to kill any ticks on them.
Can you tell I've had Lyme 4 times and ehrlichiosis twice and so have tried to educate myself on tick bite prevention!?!
SMF -- very true, and we have a TON of seed ticks (the teeeeeny ones) here, they are awful. DEET and permethrin sprays seem to be about as effective as spit on them although sometimes if you are lucky and spray 100% permethrin directly on the 500 seed ticks swarming on your leg (acckkkkk!) most of them die and fall off.
Prevention is good too (I got so twitchy thinking about the OP, I forgot that part, LOL) -- duct tape pants to socks or use double-sided tape to try and trap them as well.
Lyme and erlichiosis multiple times, eerrggg, that is terrible! I do worry about that, I have several friends who have chronic Lyme because it was not diagnosed for many years. If I didn't hate guineas so much, I think I would strap one to each leg and one on my hat to eat the ticks!
I already forgo shorts if I'm gardeneing and have a ballcap I'm going to make sure I'm wearing if I go near the grass.
Whew! on the info they don't start feeding for 24h - I'm certain the ones I removed were from the morning and both found just after I showered.
My usual MO is to do chores before showering (DUH) so that should help.
And having gray hair is an asset when doing the post-shower tickcheck
I worked in Home Infusion so I know how hard Lyme can be to treat, SMF11 - hope you got yours under control.
Hopefully my freeranging chickens will patrol most of the backyard and I can avoid the tall grass.
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009 Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
I was lucky to catch the Lyme early each time. But after four times, I thought I'd better take some preventative steps (I was not taking any precautions before, and I have 10 horses on the farm I"m feeding twice a day).
What Wildlifer said about duct tape is good too. Ticks are generally low down, on the grass, not high, so they get on you on your legs and crawl upwards. So doing what you can to protect your legs is best. You can put socks over pants and put duct tape around both STICKY SIDE OUT, to help catch the ticks crawling upwards.