How to protect yourself from ticks and insects on your next walk

The Buzzards Bay region has hundreds of beautiful outdoor places to explore. When you’re outside on a walk or hike, it’s easy to take a few simple precautions to keep you and your family safe from ticks and other insects. Our restoration ecologist Sara Quintal shares a few tips she follows to protect herself when she’s outdoors.

1. Dress to protect

pant leg hem covered with socks

When you’re out for a walk or doing yard work, pull your socks over the hem of your pants to keep any insects from getting underneath your pant legs.

One of the best ways to protect yourself from ticks and other insects is to dress appropriately. That means long pants and covered shoes. Boots that go up to your knees will provide you with great protection from ticks that crawl low to the ground.

Too warm to wear big boots? You can be comfortable and safe at the same time with a pair of light sneakers or regular hiking shoes. All you have to do is pull your socks over the hem of your pants. That’s an easy way to keep any insects from getting underneath your pant legs.

2. Stay on the trail

There are lots of reasons why you should stay on the trail when you’re out for a walk: to protect nature, to stay safe during hunting season, and to prevent picking up insects. On a mowed trail, you’re much less likely to come into contact with ticks. That’s because ticks tend to cling to tall plants and grass blades low to the ground. Just stay on cleared trails, and you’re less likely to encounter insects at all.

3. Wear insect repellent

a woman and two girls walking on a path through the woods at Nasketucket Bay State Reservation

Stick to cleared trails to avoid ticks that may be clinging to tall grasses and plants.

Another way to protect yourself from insects of all kind is to wear insect repellent. Some people prefer natural products to repel bugs. If you’re going to be outside for a long time, you may want to choose a product that includes DEET, which typically does a more thorough job of keeping insects away.

4. Check yourself after your walk

Whether you’ve been out for a walk or just doing yard work, it’s a good idea to check yourself for ticks before you go inside. Have a buddy check your backside, too – because you can’t always see back there! Check your legs, arms, waistline, and the back of your neck for any hitchhikers, and then do a more thorough check once you’re inside. Remember to check your dog after a walk outside, too!

Category: Featured Adventures

Find Places To Go and Things To Do

Discover Buzzards Bay

It’s your Bay, so get outside and enjoy it! From hiking and biking to fishing and paddling, you can discover Buzzards Bay at dozens of parks, trails, and beaches near you. Whatever your fancy, you’ll find it here on Buzzards Bay.

Get outside ›

Related Stories

Bay Adventures are back with a full summer schedule

The Coalition is launching a full schedule of free outdoor activities for the summer, resuming its Bay Adventure program, which aims to connect people to outdoor fun on Buzzards Bay and its watershed lands.

Full Story ›
Seventeen places to see (hear and smell) the signs of spring

The best way to celebrate the spring season is to get outside and savor the re-awakening that is taking place. You’ll find the signs of spring in the woodlands, wetlands, salt marshes, and waters of Buzzards Bay. Here’s a quick list of places you are most likely to spy hopeful signs of the warmer weather that is on its way as well as some pointers on what to look for.

Full Story ›
Taking the time to be mindful in nature can be good for our health

A mindfulness walk can be good for mind, body, and soul. Best of all, it's an activity that can be done at any park or reserve near your home.

Full Story ›

Working to Save Buzzards Bay

The Buzzards Bay Coalition is a membership-supported organization dedicated to improving the health of the Buzzards Bay ecosystem for all through education, conservation, research, and advocacy.

We work to protect clean water on the Bay and on the land: