According to a desert educator, tips on tick prevention

  • Kerry Liveworth spent her life outdoors, especially wearing long pants to reduce the risk of tick bites.
  • Her job as a naturalist involves checking for ticks after students have studied the forests.
  • Some tick bites can cause serious illness, so it’s important to get rid of them quickly.

For Kerry Liveworth, a 30-year-old coordinator of Nature’s Classroom program, tick bites are a professional threat.

After working outdoors for almost half of his life, the risk of being bitten still “scares me a little,” Leavenworth told Insider. However, during his years as a camp counselor and outside educator, he encountered insects.

His work at Nature’s Classroom, an environmental education program in New England, requires him to work hard to remove ticks from his body, and he instructs his staff to do so. If left untreated, some mites can spread Lyme disease or other bacteria.

Liveworth said wearing long pants and using insect repellents (or chemical-free alternatives) can help prevent tick bites and prevent serious illness. Even if you take precautions, it is important to check for ticks if you spend a lot of time on the street.

Be aware of the risks associated with tick species in your area

At the beginning of each three- to five-day tour, typically for high school students, the program nurse will walk through the basics of tick prevention, Liveworth said.

Signs around the camp show enlarged images of deer mites known to spread Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a common tick-borne disease in Levenworth, New Hampshire.

The mite’s black legs distinguish it from other species, such as the brown-footed American dog mite. Liveworth said he saw more dog mites around the camp than black-legged mites. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tick bites are associated with Rocky Mountain fever in the southern United States, and the disease is extremely rare in the northeast.

The black-legged mite on the grass

Beware of blackleg mites, as they spread the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.

Ladislav Kubesh / Getty Images


Wear long pants tucked into high socks

Liveworth said he wore long pants to reduce the risk of tick bites. Children who attend an open education program are instructed to study the same thing, especially when they are deep in the forest.

Mites thrive in forested and grassy areas where animals roam, so the host is never far away for food. According to Tick Talk, many species prefer moist environments, such as rotting piles of wood or leaves.

If you want to spend a lot of time in the woods, Liveworth also recommends wearing pants to protect your feet. As mentioned, ticks can cling to clothing and move around the house, so it’s important to check for ticks, even if you’ve taken precautions to avoid them.

Make sure you have ticks in your cracks and crevices

After spending a lot of time outdoors, Liveworth told Insider that checking for ticks had occurred spontaneously. He said he had inspected the mites in the shower and was constantly looking for ticks that had entered the house.

Mites love warm, moist areas of the body. According to the National Pest Control Association, some of the most common body parts where ticks hide are:

  • knee back.
  • On the inside of the foot.
  • Around the waist.
  • Under the armpit and in the armpit.
  • Behind the ear.
  • Hair inside and around the head.

If a tick is found on your body, remove it immediately and monitor the area

Ticks can take several hours to examine the body before being bitten, so time is of the essence.

When it finds a soft spot for a tick bite, it dips its mouth and secretes a small amount of saliva. According to the CDC, the tick’s saliva and blood may contain pathogens that cause the disease.

tick bites

“Bull’s eye” rashes are the first sign of Lyme disease.

Himagine / Getty Images and anacopa / Getty Images


According to Livenworth, every day several children went to a nature class nurse to remove ticks. To get rid of ticks on the skin, locate the head of the tick and pull it with tweezers to prevent the insects from releasing blood and leaving parts of it.

If a tick is installed, the camp nurse will save it when needed to check for insects. Liveworth also suggests rounding the tick bite area to control redness in the area, which may be the first sign of infection.

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