How to Check Yourself for Ticks After Outdoor Activities

Check Yourself

What are the risks associated with tick-borne illnesses?

and Health

Prevent Ticks When You Go Outside

Ticks, once thought of as a nuisance, are now known to be responsible for transmitting some serious diseases, like Lyme Disease. To protect your health, and the health of your loved ones, it’s important to protect yourself from ticks when you’re out in nature. Following some simple steps can help minimize the risk of tick bites.

Wear light-colored clothing that covers your skin. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants tucked into your socks should be worn, as should closed-toed shoes. Wear hats, gloves, and long hair tied back when you’re gardening, walking in the woods, or around tall grass. You may also want to apply a tick-repellent spray containing at least 20% DEET or an EPA-registered repellent.

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Check Yourself For Ticks After Outdoor Activities

After spending time outdoors, the Centers for Disease Control recommends that you thoroughly check your body, clothing, and gear for ticks. Be sure to check all the places where skin is exposed and that may include:

Body Check for Ticks

  • Head and Hair: Check your hair, behind ears and along your hairline
  • Arms: Check your arm pits and elbows
  • Neck: Check behind your neck, the back of your shirt, and the front of your shirt around the collar
  • Upper Body: Check your chest, back and waist
  • Legs: Check your legs and ankles
  • Feet: Pay special attention to your feet and between your toes

If you spot a tick, you should remove it right away. Use tweezers to grab the tick by its head or mouth parts, as close to your skin as possible. Slowly and carefully, pull the tick straight out. Then, clean the area with rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab.

Ticks and Health

If you do come into contact with a tick and you think you may have been bitten, seek medical attention right away. Your doctor can properly assess your risk level for any associated diseases, like Lyme Disease. It’s also important that you monitor any changes in your body, such as a rash or fever, which can take up to 3-4 weeks to appear after a tick bite.


Ticks can be dangerous, and you should always take extra precautions when spending time outdoors. Make sure to wear protective clothing, check yourself and your gear, and if you spot a tick or suspect you’ve been bitten, go see your doctor right away. Taking the time to check yourself for ticks can help you stay healthy and enjoy outdoor activities.