Sebastian Zavoico ‘17.5 drags a cloth on the forest floor for a specific distance as ticks attach to it. Professor David Allen and his students use this standard method for measuring the number of ticks in an area.

(l to r) Grace Zhang ‘18, Meaghan Hickey ‘18, Ben Bormann-Winter ‘18, and Nina Job ‘18 take a break from their research to eat lunch.

I think it is important not to let the ticks keep you from enjoying the outdoors! But we do need to be more aware of them and take the proper precautions. Permethrin-treated socks and pants will help to prevent ticks from attaching or from staying on you if they do attach. It is also a good idea to spray your shoes with a DEET spray. Ticks quest from the leaf litter or short vegetation on the forest floor. For this reason, it is important to protect your feet and lower legs where they are most likely to attach. If they do attach to you, they will crawl over your body for a bit before deciding where to embed. So that is why it is important to do a thorough tick check over your entire body after you have been outside.