Ticks Are Your Enemies. Here Is How To Destroy Them With Your Dryer

Image courtesy of erocsid

If you’re going for a hike this holiday weekend to enjoy the beauty only nature can provide, there is one thing you should know: ticks are your enemies, they’re out for your blood, and it’s up to you to destroy them.

The Centers for Disease Control has some handy tips on how to prevent tick bites — walking in the center of trails, using strong repellants containing DEET, treating clothing with permethrin products, etc. — but even the best laid battle plans can’t always keep one of the little suckers from hitching a ride home with you.

To rout out any ticks that may have latched on while you were out tramping through the woods or other brushy areas, the CDC recommends you bathe or shower as soon as you can after you come inside, preferably within two hours, and conduct a “full-body tick check” with a hand mirror.

Don’t stop there, because the ticks certainly won’t: leaving clothing around that may be hiding ticks is also a bad idea. If you can’t wash your clothing in hot water, you can at least tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes (damp clothing will take longer), which will kill off any ticks stuck on clothing, the CDC recommends.

Simply washing/dunking clothes in cold and medium temperature water won’t do the trick either, the CDC warns. If you don’t have hot water and need to wash your clothing, make sure to tumble dry on low heat for at least 70 minutes or high heat for 40 minutes. The clothes should be warm and completely dry.

Notable tick borne diseases these steps will help prevent include: Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.