Tips for avoiding tick bites this summer

DEET insect repellent and clothes dryer help you fight the bite

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Friday, May 25, 2018
Best protection against tick bites
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Best protection against tick bites - Rick Williams reports during Action News at 5pm on May 25, 2018.

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WPVI) -- It's Memorial Day weekend, and time to head outdoors.

So, remember to use plenty of sunscreen.

But don't forget another summer problem - ticks.

Our area is an epicenter for lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.

Tiny deer ticks are everywhere - even in many backyards.

To protect yourself, wear insect repellent at all times, preferably one with at least 15% DEET, according to Consumer Reports.

Long-sleeved shirts and pants will also reduce the chance of a tick bite.

"You can spray your clothing and some of your camping gear with another chemical compound called permethrin, which is not designed for the skin but can be put on clothing and fabric and such to help repel the ticks, says Dr. Alan Taege, an infectious disease specialist at the Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Taege says you should check yourself and your kids from head to toe every day - especially the scalp.

Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body.

Check these parts of your body and your child's body for ticks:

*Under the arms

* In and around the ears

* Inside belly button

* Back of the knees

* In and around the hair

* Between the legs

* Around the waist

And, advises the CDC, put dry clothes in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes when you come in, to kill ticks hiding on them.

If your clothes are damp, increase the dryer time.

For more hints on preventing tick bites, click here.