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Published on August 24, 2021

Lone star tick alert!

Tiny lone star ticks nest in clusters of 100s, even in short grass. Now is prime nesting season, so be prepared and alert when you're out on the trails. Lone star ticks are found most frequently in Aquinnah and Chappaquiddick but are now appearing across the island.

The photo above shows a standard-sized lint roller covered with them, collected as the fast-moving insects swarmed up a land manager's pants leg. To minimize contact with lone star and other ticks, observe the following:

  • Wear light-colored clothing to spot ticks more easily.
  • Tuck pant legs into your socks so the ticks have a harder time getting to your skin.
  • Treat shoes, clothing, and gear with permethrin or an EPA-approved insect repellent.
  • Carry a lint roller to easily capture ticks on your clothing.
  • Avoid wooded and brushy areas, tall grass, beach dunes, and leaf litter.
  • Walk in the center of the trail away from vegetation.
  • Inspect yourself and companions carefully for ticks afterward.

Permethrin-infused socks and other clothing that repels and kills ticks is available at Basics in Oak Bluffs and Brickman's in Vineyard Haven. For more info about tick safety, click here and here (page 8-9).