Avoid Ticks To Protect Yourself From Lyme Disease

Do you love being outdoors, but worry about tick bites? It can be tough to enjoy all the beauty of nature when you’ve got to worry about things like lyme’s disease from insect bites. Learn how to protect yourself and your family from creepy crawlies so you can enjoy the great outdoors undisturbed!

How Do I Protect Myself From Ticks?

Shield your body: When it comes to bug repellent, look for types with at least 20 percent DEET, says Jordan. (Such as OFF’s Deep Woods spray.) And if you’re trekking to a place where ticks are abundant, consider clothing that’s been treated with Permethrin, an odorless insect repellant that can be sprayed on clothes, tents, and more. Then, once you get home, check yourself all over.

Shield your lawn: “Keep grass cut low and remove weeds, woodpiles, and other debris from the yard,” says Jordan. You could also ask a pest management company about lawn treatments, like one that focuses on the edges of the lawn (where it interfaces with natural areas). “This method has the greatest chance of preventing ticks from establishing themselves in yards,” he says.

Shield your pets: Ask your vet about preventive flea and tick treatments — they can help deter pet pests and kill ticks on contact or upon being bitten, says Jordan.

What Do I Do If I’m Bit?

If you find a tick, remove it with tweezers with a slow, steady pull so as not to break off the mouthparts and leave them in the skin, says Jordan. Then, be sure to clean your hands and the location of the bite on your skin using soap and water.

Recognize symptoms or just don’t feel right post-bite? See your doc. There are no vaccines against theses diseases, notes Adalja. But Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, as well as less common tickborne illnesses like ehrlichiosis and human babesiosis are all caused by microorganisms and can be treated with antibiotics, says Jordan. The Powassan virus doesn’t have a specific treatment, says Jordan, who says that symptoms are treated on a case-by-case basis.

– via www.yahoo.com

While bug repellants like DEET can make a difference, repellent clothing is an oft-overlooked option that can really help discourage ticks, fleas, and other unwanted guests. Did you know that you can get specially treated footwear to prevent ticks on the ground? Read on for all the DEETS…I mean, details. 😉

Protect Yourself Through Repellent Clothing

Most people who contract Lyme get it from  nymphal ticks, the immature ones. Because nymphs are as small as poppy seeds and their bite is painless, many people don’t notice or remove them.

An excellent way to protect yourself is to wear insect-repellent clothing. The fabric has been treated with a special process that binds permethrin (a repellent) to the fibers. Testing has shown it to be highly effective against ticks, mosquitoes, ants, flies, chiggers, and midges. Protection lasts through at least 70 washings. You can buy an aerosol can of permethrin at outdoor stores and treat your clothing yourself, though when applied this way, the protection will only last through five or six washings.

It’s important to protect your feet, since nymphal ticks are often on the ground. One study showed that people with permethrin-treated footwear had 74 times the protection of those without it. When you spray your shoes or boots, do it outside in a well-ventilated area, making sure you don’t breathe the vapors.

You should also apply insect repellent to exposed skin. Repellents that include DEET, picaridin, or lemon eucalyptus oil are most effective.

While in the field, check yourself periodically for ticks. Use fine-tipped tweezers to remove any embedded ticks you may find. (Don’t douse them with lighter fluid, dish soap, or other such “remedies.” That can make the tick regurgitate its contents into you—not what we’re going for here.)

– via LymeDisease.org

Have you or a member of your family ever gotten a tick bite? What do you like to do to avoid ticks when you’re outdoors?