People can reduce their chances of picking up or being bitten by a tick by doing the following:
Staying on paths and trails when walking in wooded areas
Walking in the center of trails to avoid brushing up against bushes and weeds
Not sitting on the ground or on stone walls
Wearing long-sleeved shirts
Wearing long pants and tucking them into boots or socks
Wearing light-colored clothing, which makes ticks easier to see
Applying an insect repellent containing diethyltoluamide (DEET) to the skin
Applying an insect repellent containing permethrin to clothing or wearing clothing commercially pretreated with permethrin
Usually, Lyme disease is transmitted by young deer ticks (nymphs), which are very small, much smaller than dog ticks. So people who may have been exposed to ticks should check the whole body very carefully, especially hairy areas, every day. Inspection is effective because ticks must be attached usually for more than a day and a half to transmit Lyme disease.
To remove a tick, people should use fine-pointed tweezers to grasp the tick by the head or mouthparts right where it enters the skin and should gradually pull the tick straight off. The tick's body should not be grasped or squeezed. Petroleum jelly, alcohol, lit matches, or any other irritants should not be used.