Tick and Lyme Disease Prevention
Here are some tips to help prevent you from getting a tick. Nothing is foolproof, so no matter what precautions you take, still check for ticks after coming in from outdoors! Prevention is the best defense against Lyme disease and the other infections, viruses and parasites that ticks can pass. So please be proactive and protect yourself from ticks!
Tick Prevention for your Body
- Tuck your pants bottoms into your socks.
- Stay away from tall grass, weeds and brushy areas.
- Use tick repellent. There are both chemical and natural tick repellent types.
- Wear light colored clothing to better see ticks.
- If there is a small time period before going from the outdoors to the indoors, like driving home from a park, before you can inspect yourself for ticks, then make sure to bring along a lint roller to roll across your clothes to remove any ticks that may be crawling on you that you didn’t see, especially on dark clothing.
- Check your whole body for ticks after playing outside, bathe after coming in. Make sure to double check areas that are hidden such as armpits, crotches, back of knees, sock lines and hair lines.
- Check your pets after they come in from outdoors too!
- Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors and longer for damp or wet clothes.
- Treat your clothes with permethrin or buy clothes that contain permethrin
Tick Prevention for your Yard
- Keep your grass shorter then two inches. Ticks hide in cooler moist places.
- Adding a mulch barrier around your yard helps keep ticks out. They don’t like heat or dryness. This is helpful if your yard is bordered by brushy overgrown areas.
- After mowing, clean up the grass clippings so ticks can’t hide underneath in the moist cool shade. Also woodpiles and any unkempt brush will attract ticks.
- Consumer Reports says, “Instead of spraying your yard with chemicals, consider products that treat the fur of mice or deer with small quantities of tick-killing agents.” Products such as Damminix Tick Tubes.
In Case you do Suffer a Tick Bite
- Use tweezers or a tick remover to grab the tick by the head as close to your skin as you can get.
- Pull up gently, without twisting until tick comes out.
- Make sure head is all the way out and wipe with peroxide or soapy water.
- Place the tick in a plastic bag with a wet cotton ball and send to a lab. See Labs Here.
- Keep an eye out for rash or flu like symptoms. Not all people get a rash and symptoms will vary from person to person. See symptoms here.
- Seek proper medical care as quickly as possible if you suspect you have Lyme disease. The sooner you treat the bite, the better chance you have of curing Lyme disease. The longer you have Lyme disease the harder it is to treat.
- Remember that Lyme disease is just one of the infections passed by ticks. If you get bitten and suspect you are sick or start having symptoms, ask your doctors to test you for co infections too. Learn about co infections here.
- Educate yourself. Learn about what infections are passed by which ticks. See Tick and Infection Chart Here.