Prepare for the ticks! Ewww, I know, ticks make many of us immediately question every feeling of movement on our skin. The ticks are pretty bad this year, not sure why, I’ve heard it’s because we had a mild winter but I’m not sure if that’s the real reason. I’ve spoke to friends as far as northern Missouri who said it’s just as bad there also. However, that doesn’t have to spoil your visit to the Ozarks. There are precautions you can take to prepare and reduce or eliminate ticks. If you plan on hiking or even going by the river, or anywhere where there is low brush, you need to protect yourself. The best thing I’ve found is to use permethrin to treat your clothing and picaridin for your skin. You can find different brands of permethrin at stores like Wal Mart or Tractor Supply. Sawyer is a brand I use. When you spray your clothes/shoes/bag with it, it will remain treated for about a month, even through washing. It not only repels ticks (and other insects) but it kills them on contact. If you are wearing shorts, you should spray your legs with a repellent made for skin such as picaridin or deet. Also, if you are bringing your pet, please make sure they are protected too. The threat should be over later in the summer or early fall. If you rather a more hollistic option for repelling ticks/insects, you could try rose genanium essential oil. It’s good for dogs and people. A drop (not diluted) between shoulder blades of dogs and at the base of their tail, for people, a drop on each wrist, ankle, behind the knees and ears can really help keep them off of you.