Have you ever been mid-hike, when you noticed a few tiny bugs crawling on your shoes...only to realize, OMG they’re ticks? Yeah, it’s the sort of thing that you need to be prepared for, since a tick bite can ruin not only your afternoon in the wilderness, but it can possibly lead to bigger health issues (such as Lyme Disease, Babesiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever). And while it’s usually easier to spot and remove larger ticks before they transmit diseases, it’s the younger and smaller ones that can sometimes be nearly impossible to spot, that you need to be concerned about.
So, if you’re heading into wooded areas where there’s plenty of shade, low brush and piles of leaves—especially between the months of March and October—you’ll want to prepare yourself and your family against these pests. From the protective clothing you can wear to sprays that are safe to use on babies and dogs (including organic formulas that actually work), here are the eight best tick repellent options to buy this summer. Just don’t forget to do a thorough tick check after every hike, walk or playtime in grassy areas and, per the CDC, throw your clothes in the dryer for up to ten minutes to zap any lingering bugs.