You can decrease your chances of contracting Rocky Mountain spotted fever by taking some simple precautions:

  • Wear long pants and sleeves. When walking in wooded or grassy areas, wear shoes, long pants tucked into socks and long-sleeved shirts. Try to stick to trails and avoid walking through low bushes and long grass.
  • Use insect repellents. Products containing DEET (Off! Deep Woods, Repel) often repel ticks. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label. Clothing that has permethrin impregnated into the fabric is toxic to ticks and also may be helpful in decreasing tick contact when outdoors.
  • Do your best to tick-proof your yard. Clear brush and leaves where ticks live. Keep woodpiles in sunny areas.
  • Check yourself and your pets for ticks. Do this after being in wooded or grassy areas. Some ticks are no bigger than the head of a pin, so you may not discover them unless you are very careful.
  • Remove a tick with tweezers. Gently grasp the tick near its head or mouth. Don't squeeze or crush the tick, but pull carefully and steadily. Once you have the entire tick removed, apply antiseptic to the bite area.
Sep. 10, 2011