Hiking Made Easy – Wondering about how to avoid ticks while hiking? If so then, this comprehensive article will help you to avoid ticks while you are hiking.

Since the peak season for outdoor enthusiasts, which is from April to September (when hiking, camping and backpacking are popular), the majority of ticks are active during this time period. 

The real kicker is that you don’t have to travel far into the wilderness in order to get bitten by a tick; it may happen right in your own backyard. 

No matter how much time you spend outside, it’s critical that you understand the basics of tick avoidance in order to avoid getting sick from them.

Ticks expect to increase in number this year, according to experts. Therefore it’s important to brush up on your knowledge of ticks. 

The recent unpredictability of winter weather has resulted in increased survival of larvae and adults ticks. It results in a population explosion in the spring.

Although the majority of hikers are aware of the dangers of ticks, there is a lot of misinformation out there about them. Particularly, when it comes to the hazards they pose and how to deal with ticks that are present crawling or implanted in you. 

In this article, we’ll talk about general information about ticks, how to keep them away, and how to protect yourself effectively.

8 Tips for How to Avoid Ticks While Hiking

8 Tips for How to Avoid Ticks While Hiking

When it comes to ticks, knowing their dislikes can significantly reduce your chances of acquiring a new nasty little blood-sucking companion who isn’t welcome in your house.

Avoid Going to their Favorite Hangout Places

Ticks adore those gorgeous fields where you can stroll through the tall grass and wildflowers while listening to the gurgling of a nearby stream and watching Bambi and the rest of the deer herd come for a drink on a daily basis.

This is, without a doubt, a tick’s heaven. See, research has shown that a location like that, with a year-round supply of warm-blooded animals, is capable of supporting a higher density of ticks.

Climbing to the top of that tall grass, they sit there and wait for some unfortunate host to pass by. At this point, they attach themselves. Stick to the walkway and stay away from the tall grass if you want to reduce your chances of picking up a tick hitchhiker.

Put on the Proper Gear

Garments treated with Permethrin are available. Permethrin is a highly effective tick deterrent that ticks despise and avoid.

You can purchase clothes with Permethrin so that if a tick happens to get on you. Ticks will not be happy with what he finds and will hop off without a second thought.

You may also purchase sprays to treat your clothes as well as your camping or trekking gear, which you can spray as often as necessary. 

Alternatively, you may make do with what you have on hand and give a brief spray with your mosquito repellent to see whether it helps. Wearing proper clothing and gear is one of the best ways for how to avoid ticks while hiking reddit.

Insect Repellants Can Be Useful

When going on an overnight trip, you should not only use insect repellent on yourself. But you should also spray it on your tent and any other equipment you carry with you. 

When applied to exposed skin regions, the efficacy of an insect repellent should be between 20 % and 30 % of DEET.

To ensure your health and safety, avoid getting insect repellant in your eyes or mouth. Additionally, you may spray bug repellant on your camp, tent, and clothing before departing on your hike. 

If you want to boost the effectiveness of your insect repellent, combine it with citronella.

Tuck Your Jeans in Your Socks

That time in elementary school when other students teased you for showing up to class with one of your pants tucked inside a sock because you forgot to take them out of your sock bag while riding your bike to school is probably still fresh in your mind.

But consider this: if a tick is unable to gain access to your skin, he or she will be unable to make their way up to some lovely warm location where they hope you will not notice them, where they will be able to snuggle in undisturbed and gorge themselves on you for as long as they remain undetected. Your groin, for example, is one of their all-time favorite spots!

So you see, isn’t it worth it to feel a bit stupid every now and then?

Stay Away from Wet or Shady Regions

Staying away from wet and shady regions is one of the best ways for how to avoid ticks while hiking.

Due to their susceptibility to moisture loss, many tick species are more typically present in the long grass. Moreover, present in thick vegetation, and gloomy regions during the nymph stage of their life cycle.

To be clear, we are not claiming that walking around in the sunshine will guarantee that you will never ever come face to face with a tick; ticks are not Dracula-like creatures that explode in flames when the sun shines on their skin. 

No, they are more like a smaller blood-sucking relative who prefers shaded regions rather than bright sunlight. Since the sun dries up their skin too rapidly in the sun.

The reason they are present in greater numbers around water sources such as lakes, rivers, and streams, as well as naturally low regions that tend to be wetter, is because of this. 

As a result, while approaching these locations, remember to tuck your pants into your socks. Just as you would if you were going swimming.

Choose Pathways that Are Wide

Even if it appears to be basic sense, if you stroll in the middle of a broad route or walking trail and do not come into contact with a lot of plants, your chances of picking up a hitchhiking tick are minimum.

This is due to the fact that ticks creep up onto plants or tall grass and just sit there waiting for you to pass by so they may latch onto you.

You can call this procedure ‘questing,’ and sure, it is nasty to think that there is a parasite waiting for you somewhere out there, but don’t let that dissuade you from trying it. 

Take this into consideration whether hiking, camping, or strolling to your favorite fishing location. Choosing the wide routes can be helpful for how to avoid ticks while hiking.

Dress in Brightly Colored Clothing

It is not a fashion statement, but it is a terrific method to really see a tick if one happens to land on your skin or clothing. They are little, and each of their legs contains a set of claws on end.

If that image isn’t frightening enough, sometimes simply shaking your trouser leg won’t suffice. 

So, before you start doing the ‘crazy tick dance’ in an attempt to get one off of you, keep in mind that you are much larger than the creature you are attempting to remove. You will come out on top.

Additionally, it is an excellent method for your hiking companion who is following you to observe the tick before it makes its way to one of your body’s vulnerable spots.

Recognize When You Are Most Likely to Get Bitten By A Tick

During the spring and early summer months, there is typically a larger concentration of young ticks, also known as nymphs, which are more difficult to detect, smaller, and can carry disease viruses just like their parents.

The best time of day to avoid ticks is going hiking during the fall season.

As a result, they are stealthy little blood-sucking stalkers, and you can bet your bottom dollar that they are waiting to feed on you in order to move on to the next stage in their evolutionary cycle.

Due diligence can save you from questions like how to avoid ticks while hiking.

In their life cycle, ticks go through three to four phases (larvae, nymphs, adults, and eggs), each of which needs a blood meal before transitioning into the next stage of their life cycle. 

Yes, that’s correct. While it is true that the weather is cold, this should not discourage you from stepping outside and enjoying the wonderful outdoors.

Ask a local if you’re planning to go hiking or camping since they’ll be able to tell you when and where you’re most likely to encounter these clever parasites.

Major Families of Ticks

Major Families of Ticks  - How to Avoid Ticks While Hiking

Ticks are classified into two families in the United States: Ixodidae (hard ticks) and Argasidae (soft ticks) (soft ticks). 

Among the approximately 700 species of hard ticks and 200 species of soft ticks that have been discovered around the world, only a handful have been identified as having the ability to bite and transmit illness to people.

In contrast to soft ticks, hard ticks have a longer life cycle and get bigger and more recognizable as they progress through the stages.

Hard Ticks (Ixodidae)

Hard ticks (Ixodidae) begin their lives as an egg deposited by an adult female tick, which develops into a larval stage. 

Once the egg hatches, a larva emerges, which must then locate and consume a small animal or bird as a food source (host). After feeding on the host, it falls to the ground and through a molting process, emerging as a nymph as a result.

If you want to know how to avoid ticks while hiking especially hard ticks, read the previous section.

When they find bigger hosts, nymphal hard ticks drop off and molt, transforming from nymphs to adults. Hard ticks have a life cycle that lasts between one and two years, depending on the species. 

The bite of a hard tick is normally painless, and the feeding process can last anywhere from a few hours to many days or even several weeks.

Soft Ticks (Argasidae)

Similar to hard ticks, soft ticks (Argasidae) begins life as an egg, hatch into a larva, eat for several days and then molt to become a nymph. 

During their life cycle as nymphs, soft ticks can go through as many stages as they like, needing them to feed on human blood in between each stage.

The life cycle of soft ticks can range anywhere from a few months to several years, depending on the species. The bite is often painless and only lasts 15-30 minutes, making it more difficult to detect than other types of bites.

While hard and soft adult ticks are the easiest to distinguish, it is crucial to remember that nymphal ticks are just as capable of spreading illness as hard and soft adult ticks. 

In certain places, the rate of nymphal tick infection is significantly higher than the rate of adult tick infection, which is a concern.

If you are wondering how to avoid ticks while hiking, read the previous section.

Different Types of Ticks on Hiking Trails

Different Types of Ticks on Hiking Trails - How to Avoid Ticks While Hiking

Listed below are ticks found in the United States that have been reported to bite people or carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans.

American Dog Tick (Dermacentor Variabilis)

The body of the American dog tick is a dark brown color. Adult females have an off-white shield, whilst adult males have a mottled appearance. It is during the spring and summer months that you are most in danger of getting bitten by adult female mosquitoes.

Rickettsia rickettsii is the bacterium that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and this species is the major carrier of the infection. Furthermore, it transmits Tularemia (Francisella tularensis), Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, and tick paralysis, among other diseases.


This tick has a wide range of distribution east of the Rocky Mountains, across the East and Gulf Coasts, down the Pacific Coast, into Canada, and into sections of Alaska. 

For the most part, American dog ticks may be present in locations where there are few or no trees, such as tall grassy fields and low-lying brush and twigs.

Blacklegged “Deer” Tick (Ixodes Scapularis)

The most distinguishing characteristics of this tick are its reddish-orange body, black shield, and dark black legs.

If you want to know how to avoid ticks while hiking, especially deer ticks, read the previous section.

The deer tick has been linked to the transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi (the agent of Lyme disease), Borrelia mayonii (which causes a Lyme-like sickness), Borrelia miyamotoi and Borrelia hermsii (which both cause relapsing fever Borreliosis), Ehrlichia muris (ehrlichiosis), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (anaplasmosis), Babesia and deer tick virus.


The range of black-legged ticks has increased significantly during the previous two decades. They are now present across the eastern United States, as well as huge portions of the northern, central, and southern United States. 

The black-legged tick’s northern ranges are continuing to extend in all directions from two large endemic locations in the Northeast and Upper Midwest, according to the latest available data. 

It’s crucial to remember that adult ticks will hunt for a host at any time of year when temperatures are above freezing, especially throughout the winter months.

Ticks with black legs may be found in a wide variety of habitats that are excellent for birds, big and small animals such as mice, deer, squirrels, coyotes, and livestock, as well as for humans and livestock. 

Though nymphs and adult females can bite humans at any point of their life cycle, they are most frequently seen on persons who have come into touch with grass or brush or have fallen on logs, or are in contact with dogs that have been wandering free in the wild.

Brown Dog Tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus)

Ticks of the brown dog kind are reddish-brown in color and have a narrow form when compared to other ticks.

Wondering about how to avoid ticks while hiking? Read the 8 effective ways mentioned in the previous section.

Ticks can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Q Fever, and other rickettsioses to humans at any point in their life cycle. They are also capable of transmitting a number of illnesses that are particular to dogs.


Dogs are the major host of the brown dog tick, which may be found around the world. The brown dog tick may survive and reproduce in the wild, but it prefers to congregate in and near dog-owning households (for example, dog beds and kennels). 

It is possible for these ticks to live their complete life cycle inside a building.

In order to completely eliminate brown dog tick infestations, specialists recommend treating all pets, thoroughly cleaning the house and yard, and sanitizing pet beds and other locations where the dog spends a lot of time, such as the car. It is possible that this procedure will need many applications over a period of several months.

Groundhog Tick (Ixodes Cookei)

The groundhog tick, commonly known as the woodchuck tick, is a light brown or blond-colored tick with a rounded head.

Infection with Powassan virus illness is transmitted mostly by the groundhog tick.


This tick may be present in the eastern portion of the United States, also called the deer tick. 

All phases of this tick’s life cycle feed on a wide variety of warm-blooded creatures, including groundhogs, skunks, squirrels, raccoons, foxes, weasels, and, on rare occasions, people and domestic animals as well.

Lone Star Tick (Amblyomma Americanum)

The appearance of this tick is reddish-brown. The mature female may differentiate by a white dot or “lone star” on her back, which indicates her gender.

Do you want to know how to avoid ticks while hiking? Read the 8 effective ticks avoidance methods mentioned above.

Both the nymphal and adult ticks can transmit diseases such as human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis (HME), Ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia chaffeensis, Ehrlichia ewingii, and Panola Mountain Ehrlichia), Rickettsiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), Tularemia (Francisella tularensis), and Heartland virus (Bourbon virus).


The lone star tick may be found across the eastern United States, although it is most common in the southern states. These ticks are extremely aggressive biters, and the best time to avoid being bitten is from the beginning of spring to the end of fall.

It is important to note that the bite of this tick has been linked to delayed allergic responses to red meat-eating in certain persons. 

This illness, known as “alpha-gal” allergy, is becoming widely recognized as a public health issue throughout the tick’s geographic distribution, particularly in the United States.

Pacific Coast Tick (Dermacentor Occidentalis)

On humans, the Pacific Coast Tick has a brownish-black pattern all over its body.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever transmits to humans and their pets at any stage of this tick’s life cycle. It can also transmit the Colorado tick fever virus (CTFV), Pacific Coast tick fever (spotted fever Rickettesia 364D), Rickettsia of Q fever, and Rickettsia Philippi (a spotted fever rickettsiosis), as well as the bacteria that causes Tularemia. 

An infection caused by the bite of this tick produces a wound that is frequently mix up for that of other biting insects and spiders.

To know how to avoid ticks while hiking, read the previous section.


The Pacific coast tick is present in abundance in the Southwestern United States. Its range extends from Baja, Mexico, all the way up to Oregon. Ticks from the Pacific Coast are the most prevalent ticks present in California, and they may be available across the state.

Rocky Mountain Wood Tick (Dermacentor Andersoni)

Their skin is reddish-brown, and their appearance is remarkably similar to that of American dog ticks. The mature males are different by a cream-colored shield.

It is this insect that is the principal vector of the Colorado tick fever virus (CTFV), as well as the agents of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (Rickettsia rickettsii), Q fever, and tularemia (tularemia is an infection caused by the tick). 

It is possible that the saliva of the Rocky Mountain wood tick includes a neurotoxic that can induce tick paralysis in people and pets on rare occasions. Following tick removal, it might take anywhere from 24-72 hours for the poison to disappear.


Mountain wood ticks are most commonly present in scrublands, moderately forested regions, open grasslands, and along trails in the Rocky Mountain region. 

They are present in the region between the eastern and western distributions of the American dog tick, and their range extends into Canada as well. 

Generally speaking, their geographical distribution in the United States contains higher elevations above 4,000 feet.

Between the months of January and November, these ticks can be active. However, their activity decreases during the hot and dry mid-summer tick season.

On the tops of foliage, adult wood ticks are present scurrying around knee-high, searching for prey. They like to eat on medium- to large-sized animals, yet they are capable of surviving without food for up to 600 days.

If you want to know how to avoid ticks while hiking, especially wood ticks, read the previous section.

Soft Ticks (Ornithodoros)

Soft ticks have the shape of giant raisins and do not have a hard shell like their hard counterparts.

This tick is the primary vector of two major tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF) agents in North America, Borrelia hermsii and Borrelia turicatae, both of which are pathogens of the disease.


To a large extent, soft ticks may be found across the western United States, including Texas, but they are often restricted to coniferous woods at elevations of 900 to 2,000 meters above sea level.

People are most commonly attacked when sleeping in primitive mountain cottages that have previously been plagued with rats.

When it comes to cave exploration in Texas, it’s possible that TBRF is related to it. In many cases, victims are completely unaware that they got a bite because the bite is completely painless. 

TBRF outbreaks have been documented in national parks and holiday cottages in Colorado, Arizona, and the Lake Tahoe area of California. In Colorado, outbreaks have occurred in national parks and tourist cabins.

Western Blacklegged Tick (Ixodes Pacificus)

Ticks with a reddish body and a black shield on top, as well as black legs, are common in this area.

This tick is responsible for the transmission of Lyme disease, Borrelia miyamotoi illness (a relapsing fever Borreliosis), babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and human granulocytic anaplasmosis, among other diseases (HGA). 

Want to know how to avoid ticks while hiking? Read the 8 ways mentioned in the previous section.

It is also the source of the transmission of Bartonella to humans. Despite the fact that this tick can bite at any stage of its life cycle, it is possible that nymphs and adult females are the most common carriers of disease in humans.


While the western black-legged tick is most abundant in California, where it has established itself in 55 of the state’s 58 counties, it can also be found in five other western states: Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, in addition to California.

However, active monitoring efforts for this tick outside of California have been extremely restricted over the past two decades, according to studies. 

The geographic range of the western black-legged tick has not grown over the previous two decades, according to studies. 

On fallen logs or branches, the tick can be present along deer routes in grassy coastal regions and deep forests, as well as amid fallen leaves or fir needles and on the undersides of fallen logs and branches. 

In addition, nymphs are present on the undersides of wooden park seats and tables by researchers.

Among the animals infected by the western black-legged tick are squirrels, lizards, mice, voles, foxes, coyotes, and deer. Migrating birds, like all ticks, serve as long-distance transporters for their prey. 

It is crucial to highlight that, while the majority of cases of Lyme disease are identified in the Northeast and Midwest, several Lyme-endemic counties in California are bigger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware, and the rate of nymphal tick infection in California is equivalent to or greater than the rate in hyperendemic areas in the northeastern United States.


Now you know how to avoid ticks while hiking. Ticks might be a frightening concept, but with a little preparation, adequate protection, and care, hiking in tick country can be a pleasant and safe experience. 

Generally speaking, wearing tick-repellent clothes is the simplest and most effective strategy for individuals to avoid getting ticks bites when they’re out in nature. 

However, checking oneself before crawling into your tent at night or returning to your car is the best defense against a tick that has crawled on you or one that has bitten you is the most important step you can take. The most important thing to remember is to be vigilant.

How To Avoid Ticks While Hiking – FAQs

How do you protect yourself from ticks when hiking?

You can protect yourself from ticks when hiking using the following methods:

  • Put on proper gear
  • Use insect repellent
  • Dress in brightly colored clothes
  • Tuck your pants in your socks
  • Checking for ticks after hiking

What is the best way to repel ticks?

You can use the following sprays and equipment to repel ticks:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Neem oil
  • Certain Aromatherapy Essential Oils
  • Ticks and insects repellent
  • Wearing best boots to avoid ticks

How do I protect my dog from ticks while hiking?

A lot of people ask, “how to keep ticks off dogs while hiking.”

Well, try to keep dogs on the trail and away from the bushes and trees. When you are on your trek and when you get back to your car, check them properly for ticks.

Can ticks bite through leggings?

No, ticks can not bite through leggings. However, you should wear proper leggings and socks to avoid ticks bites. Try not to expose any part of your body while you are hiking.

What to wear to avoid ticks?

Try wearing long sleeve shirts and tuck your pants in your socks. Wear bright-colored clothes to repel ticks.