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Never Wear This in Your Yard This Summer, Experts Warn

Stay away from this kind of clothing when heading outside as temperatures rise.

Summer is almost here, which means most of us are spending every possible moment in the sun before the cold weather sends us back indoors. But with all that time outside, you're exposing yourself to a handful of risks, and we're not only talking about sunburn either. From poison ivy to disease-ridden bugs, there are a few things to keep in mind when you're spending the day in nature in order to stay safe. In fact, experts warn that wearing this one kind of clothing could make it easier for ticks to cling to you. To see what you should never wear while spending time in your yard this summer, read on.

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Experts say you shouldn't wear dark colors when you're outside in the summer.

Woman gardening

Whether you're looking to sit back and relax in your yard, hit the beach, or find a hiking trail, it's ill-advised to wear dark clothing. Experts told The New York Times that people should wear light-colored clothing so that you can spot ticks that might've latched on to you. If you wear black or other dark colors, the parasitic bugs can be easier to miss, which gives them more time to suck your blood and potentially infect you with Lyme disease.

Experts also suggest tucking your pants into your socks and your shirt into your pants so ticks, or other bugs for that matter, can't make their way inside any of your clothing through an opening.

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Experts also suggest spraying your clothes for added protection.

Man spraying for ticks

If you want to be extra careful, you can also spray your clothing with permethrin, an anti-parasitic chemical that continues to protect your clothes even after a handful of washes. According to The New York Times, the protection lasts for about six washes before you'll need another coat.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests using a product with .5 percent permethrin on your clothing, boots, and camping gear. In addition to treating what you're wearing and sleeping in, the CDC says you should use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellent.

Don't wear your outdoor clothes inside.

Man sitting on couch

After enjoying the great outdoors, you don't want to bring anything from outside inside your home with you. Experts tell The New York Times that you shouldn't wear your outdoor clothes indoors, not even for a brief break. A 2016 study published in the journal Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases found that putting your clothes right in the dryer (without washing them) on high heat for six minutes will kill ticks. However, the CDC also recommends washing any outdoor clothing for 10 minutes on high. The agency says you should also shower within two hours of any activity that takes place outdoors and perform a thorough body check.

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Experts warn that there are more ticks around this year.


While ticks are a threat every year, especially during the warmer months between April and September, Richard S. Ostfeld, PhD, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, told The New York Times that this year is especially worrisome. Ostfeld called 2021 "a tick-y year" with nymphal black-legged ticks, which are often referred to as deer ticks and are responsible for the majority of Lyme disease cases, peaking in the Northeast. Taking preventative action and being vigilant about ticks is especially important this summer, right down to the color of your T-shirt.

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