Ed, You gotta stay out of the brush! Twenty is a big number. I live on acreage across from Nutters Neck WMA. It's mixed woods, pasture and a small clearing for the house. My first of the year was a couple of weeks ago. Ticks are a given and a constant. Luckily, I am a bit odd in that I don't like labels in the back of a t-shirt, so I am attentive even to the nymphs.
Gaters are good*, but I find tall rubber boots better; I understand that most ticks stay pretty low. (my wife gets them reaching into flower beds) I gather the boots limit the pheromones and/or heat that alert the ticks to a host being near. I've done both permethrin and Amitraz from Thailand that they use on cattle ...with dubious results. (they keep biting flies off...)
X'd-fingers ...in the almost 30 yrs we've been bitten we have not had a major problem. I gather however the hot spots for Lyme are expanding south.
*I used to use rubberband on my pant legs ...then 2-sided Velcro. Either they waited for me to open the door or slipped thru the cracks.