"How to Keep Ticks Off Your Junk"

Summer 2018 is already ramping up to be the summer of the tick, with even greater numbers of the tiny pests ready to jump aboard human hosts than usual. And with more than 35,000 reported cases of tick-borne Lyme Disease in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control, it’s important to keep the tiny blood-suckers off of all body parts.

But there are areas of the body that ticks prefer more than others. “Ticks like warm, creased areas that protect and cover them: armpits, behind the thigh, and the lower abdomen," says Shilpi Argawal, MD, a DC-area family medicine physician.

Adds Thomas Moorcroft, DO, a Connecticut-based osteopath who specializes in the treatment of tick-borne illnesses: “Ticks like relatively higher temperature and humidity—warm, dark regions, such as the armpits and groin.”

That's right: there's nothing ticks love more than setting up shop in your balls. [giphy align='center' ratio='63']https://giphy.com/embed/WuGSL4LFUMQU[/giphy]

If you want to take preventive measures to keep the pests out of your pants, here's how to do it. 

1 Start grooming down there.
You don't necessarily need to hardcore manscape, but if you're trying to ward off ticks, "keeping personal areas groomed is helpful,” says Dr. Agarwal. Trimming or shaving your pubic hair can both make your groin area less desirable to the pest, and make it easier to spot them.

2 Use bug spray (but not directly on your goods).
Most repellents that are effective for mosquitoes will also be effective for ticks, says Brad Leahy of Maryland and Virginia’s B.O.G. Pest Control. The most effective sprays have DEET or picaridin in them. But don’t spray directly on your sensitive areas, he warns. Instead, stick to your arms and legs.


3 Wear clothes treated with permethrin.
Permethrin is a synthetic insecticide that is applied directly to clothing and shoes. “It kills ticks within about 15 seconds of exposure, stopping them before they have a chance to get to your skin,” explains Leahy. You can add the insecticide to your own clothes, have items sent out for a professional application, or purchase pre-treated apparel.

Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent

4 Hike up your socks.
We don’t care if you look like a goon. “Ticks will travel looking for the ideal spot,” says Leahy. “That usually means they're traveling up from your socks or shoes.” That means you should hike up your socks — or, even better, tuck your pants into your socks.

5 Wear compression shorts.“The use of well-fitting compression shorts to create a physical barrier prevents ticks from ever having access to your nether regions,” says Moorcroft. And if you’re not wearing compression shorts, choose snug-fitting boxer briefs over loose-fitting, tick-welcoming boxers.

Under Armour Men's Compression Shorts

6 Do a ball check.Yes, you should be doing an all-over body scan when you return from the outdoors. Be on the prowl for tiny, dark spots with legs. Agarwal says you should also pay heed to other creased areas, like elbows.


7 Shower daily.“No exceptions!” says Dr. Agarwal. “Showering daily and heavily soaping areas can help identify ticks and reduce prolonged attachment.”

8 What should you do if you find a tick?If you do find a tick embedded in the skin on your scrotum, follow the CDC’s guidelines for removal: Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible; pull upward with steady, even pressure, and thoroughly clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol, iodine scrub or soap and water.

You should then submerse the live tick in rubbing alcohol, place it in a sealed bag, or flush it down the toilet. Pay attention to your health over the following weeks, and see a doctor if you develop a fever, headache, fatigue and/or rash.


This article originally appeared on www.menshealth.com