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Returning home

Check your clothes, gear, and pets for ticks before going inside

Keeping a jar for ticks by the door can remind you to do this preliminary tick check before entering the house. Pay particular attention to your shoes (especially in between the laces), socks and pants.

Photo by: maxmann via Pixabay

Put clothing into the dryer, on high heat, for at least 10 minutes

Leaving a laundry basket by the door is a good reminder to remove clothing and bring them to the dryer as soon as you are inside. Ticks die in dry conditions – not with heat – which is why putting clothing into the wash is not effective.

Take a bath or shower and perform a through tick check as soon as possible after returning home.

Key areas to check to check include the head and hair, ears, arms, chest, back, waist, belly button, groin, legs and behind knees, and between the toes, however it is important to check everywhere.

Ticks come in different sizes. The nymph life stage of a tick is as small as a poppy seed. Look for dark or discoloured spots and use your hands to feel for small bumps.

It is worthwhile noting that nymphs are more active in the spring and summer, whereas adult ticks tend to be more active in the fall. Depending on your location, it may be important to perform tick checks all year round.

Ticks come in different sizes. This photo shows the size of the Ixodes scapularis tick according to the stage of development and the level of engorgement. From smallest to largest: larva, nymph, adult male, adult female, and engorged adult female. (Distance between each line of the scale: 1 millimeter). Photo by: INSPQ.

Remind other household members, friends and family to check themselves, and help each other!