It is now officially summer! Time for long sunny days and weekend geocaching trips. However, in many areas summer is also prime time for ticks. Ticks like to live in tall grass, bushes, and shrubs. As geocachers, we are more likely to stray from designated park paths and go through all sorts of brush to find that cache. It’s a good idea to take some precautions when out geocaching, especially if you are going through areas ticks like to live.

Here are some tips to avoid ticks:

- Wear light coloured clothing as well as long sleeves, long pants, and closed toed shoes

- Tuck your pants into your socks

- Use insect repellent containing DEET

Once you are home, check yourself thoroughly for ticks. Make sure to check everywhere: your hair, clothes, and entire body. Ticks take 24 hours to attach themselves to you – this is why checking every day for ticks is an important prevention technique.

If you find a tick attached to your skin, use tweezers to grasp the tick at the head (where it is attached to your skin) and pull up slowly. Make sure to dispose of the tick, and then clean the bite area with soap and water. If the tick is deeper into your skin, consult a doctor as soon as possible. Don't forget to check your caching pets for ticks as well!

Geocaching in the summer is a ton of fun - just make sure to take a few precautions before making the trek for your next cache!

For more information, see the BCCDC Tick talks website, and a kid-friendly brochure can be seen here.