As the weather warms up, the threat of tick bites increase. Spending time outdoors is good for the whole family. Don’t let bug bites ruin your fun.

Most tick bites are harmless, but some ticks carry diseases. Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are just 2 of the serious diseases you can get from ticks.

The good news is that you can take easy steps to protect yourself and your family from tick bites. Take these steps to avoid bites from ticks:

  • Cut back brush and tall grasses around your home and rake up fallen leaves to keep ticks away.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks.
  • Use natural bug repellent (also called bug spray or insect repellent) on your skin and clothing.
  • Check for ticks after spending time outside – even in your yard. Check everybody in the family, including animals. Check the entire body, especially: Under the arms; In and around the ears; Behind the knees and in the groin (crotch); Around the waist and inside the belly button; In and around hair.
  • Take a shower after going back inside to help wash away ticks. A shower can help get ticks off of you and lower your risk of Lyme disease. Try to shower within 2 hours of going back inside.
  • Use a veterinarian-approved tick spot-on repellent on your animals and remember to check your animals for ticks.
  • Use wood chips or gravel to separate your patio or play equipment from wooded or brushy areas.
  • Use tweezers to remove a tick as soon as you see it. Get the tick near its head or mouth (the part closest to your skin). Gently pull the whole tick straight out. Be careful not to crush or twist the tick. Wash your hands and the bite with soap and water. Put rubbing alcohol on the bite. Don’t use a hot match to kill and remove a tick.