Get TickSmart! Tick safety for June

By Samantha Murray

Nymph stage ticks are tiny…they latch on at shoe or cuff level and crawl up…but most worrisome is that they commonly stop to bite BELOW THE BELT. When was the last time you checked there?

You should always do a daily tick check, and to find attached nymph stage ticks, you’re going to have to LEAN OVER & LOOK. But there is one easy way to keep nymphs from latching on in the first place: make your shoes and socks tick repellent.

Tick-Safety-June-spray-cansThrough central stores, ALL National Grid employees have access to clothing-only tick repellent containing the active ingredient PERMETHRIN (0.5%). Hopefully you have a can in your vehicle, in your locker, or at home on a shelf. But it doesn’t keep you Tick safe if it’s just sitting in the cupboard. Be sure to USE YOUR TICK REPELLENT and spray your shoes at least once each month, especially during the months of May, June, July, and August. That’s when nymph and larval stage ticks are most active.

Here’s what to do: put your shoes outside on the driveway, shake the can and then holding it about 6 inches from the shoes, spray thoroughly until the shoes appear wetted. Spray all upper surfaces including the tongue and laces. Then allow them to dry before wearing. It usually only takes a couple of hours to dry, so if you spray them in the evening, they should dry overnight. Permethrin treatment doesn’t stain or smell once dry.

work shoes being sprayed with repellent

Spray all upper surfaces, including the laces, making sure that the shoes are wetted. Then let them dry thoroughly before wearing.

You can also spray your socks and pants, but if you spray your own pants, be sure to spray the inside as well as the outside, at least from the knee to the cuff. And spray ahead of wearing—it’s important to let treated clothes dry thoroughly before wearing. You can also have your own clothes treated commercially by Insect Shield. Commercial permethrin treatment doesn’t affect your FR-rated clothing, and it continues to repel (and kill) ticks through 70 laundry cycles.

TickSmart Tip: Why not treat the entire family’s shoes? Work shoes, play shoes, running shoes, golf shoes—you can treat them all at the same time, and then everyone will be wearing tick repellent shoes. Remember, treat shoes at least once a month starting in May and continuing at least through August.

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