Los Angeles County West Vector & Vector-Borne Disease Control District

How Can Tick Borne Illnesses be Prevented?

Avoidance of tick habitat
Whenever possible, persons should avoid entering areas that are likely to be infested with ticks, particularly in spring and summer when nymphal ticks feed. Ticks favor a moist, shaded environment, especially that provided by leaf litter and low-lying vegetation in wooded, brushy or overgrown grassy habitat.  Sources for information on the distribution of ticks in an area include state and local health departments, park personnel, and agricultural extension services.  You can greatly reduce your chances of contracting tick-borne diseases if you remove a tick promptly, after it embeds in your skin. 

Personal protection
Individuals Tuck pants into sockswho are exposed to tick infested areas should wear light-colored clothing so that ticks can be spotted more easily and removed before becoming attached. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and tucking pants into socks or boot tops may help keep ticks from reaching the skin. Ticks are usually located close to the ground, so wearing high rubber boots may provide additional protection. Application of insect repellents containing DEET (n,n-diethyl-m-toluamide) to clothes and exposed skin, and permethrin (which kills ticks on contact) to clothes, should also help reduce the risk of tick attachment. DEET can be used safely on children and adults but should be applied according to Environmental Protection Agency guidelines to reduce the possibility of toxicity.

Reducing  ticks on your property

Reduce the humidity in your property.
Ticks are susceptible to dehydration. You can reduce humidity in property by:
pruning trees
clearing brush
removing litter
mowing grass short, and
letting it dry thoroughly between watering.
Move shrubbery and overgrowth farther away from areas frequented by people.
You can do this by frequently mowing and landscaping such areas.
Make your property unattractive to animals that are hosts to ticks.
Accomplish this by:
eliminating birdfeeders, birdbaths, and salt licks;
erecting fencing around the property;
clearing away wood, garbage, and leaf piles;
removing stonewalls that provide homes to wildlife.
Have your property chemically treated.
You can kill ticks on your property by applying the following chemicals: cyfluthrin, chlorpyrifos, and carbaryl. Seek profession advice before application from either your local agricultural station or lawn & garden center.